Amla rockets to No.1 spot

2013-02-06 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Batsman Hashim Amla leads a number of South African players who continue to make impressive gains in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings released after the Test at the Wanderers.

South African players now head the ICC Test Player Rankings tables for batting (Amla), bowling (Dale Steyn) and all-rounders (Jacques Kallis), after the side’s 211 run win over Pakistan in the first Test at Johannesburg on Monday.

Amla has taken over the number one position in the rankings for Test batsman for the first time in his career, after entering the Johannesburg Test trailing Australia captain Michael Clarke by just one point.

He has moved to top spot after knocks of 37 and 74 not out, and now sits on 895 ratings points — his career-best rating.

Amla, who was short-listed for the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012, now heads both the Test and ODI batting tables.

He is the first man to do so since former Australia captain Ricky Ponting in December 2007.

“It’s been a great year for our squad, and to be honest I still don’t think that I am the best batsman in our team,” said Amla.

Fast bowler Steyn has broken the 900-rating points barrier for the second time in his career to retain his number one position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers.

Kallis still heads the ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders.

South Africa vice-captain AB de Villiers has achieved a career-best fourth position in the batting rankings after knocks of 31 and 103 not out, and Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career in 10th position (up by three).

Steyn has 908 points, the best by a Test bowler since Muttiah Muralitharan reached the same rating in July 2008 against India.

SA strength and conditioning coach, Rob Walter, said the players will put in some “cricket time” during the 10-day lapse between the first and second Test against Pakistan.

The Proteas have returned to their homes following the Wanderers Test and will meet up in Cape Town on Monday to begin preparations for the second Test match.

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