While South Africa pace bowler Kagiso Rabada faced two-match suspension after the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth, the campaign emerged as grand success for him. His 10-wicket haul in the match got him back the No. 1 spot in ICC Ranking for bowlers. Rabada nicked gave out 150 runs for 11 wickets in the previous campaign, where he was also charged of breaching an ICC code of conduct. His accolade is not restricted to the number 1 spot, he also crossed the 900 ranking points, become the fourth South African bowler to reach the milestone. Earlier, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Shaun Pollock reached the 900-point mark.
Apart from celebrations, Rabada also has reasons to worry. The young bowler earned four demerit points in the match in two separate incidents. In the second one, the player was charged or brushing into Steven Smith’s shoulders after taking his wicket. However, Rabada denied the allegation strongly saying he was “so pumped up” that the did not even knew his shoulder touched Smith’s. He has strong backings from captain Faf du Plessis, who is ready to challenge the ICC verdict on the case. If South Africa successfully defends their objections on the rulings, Rabada can come back to the squad for playing the rest two matches. The bowler is one of the top bets of the team in the series.
In the latest ICC ranking, other players with significant changes in ranks are AB de Villiers and Mitchell Starc. De Villiers scored an unbeaten 126 in the second test pushing his rankings five ranks higher in the list of top 10 batsmen. He is now at seventh of the top 10 players displacing Azhar Ali. Mitchell Starc, the Australia bowler, has dropped to 9th in the top Test bowler’s list. He could take only a single wicket in the second test. Another player to drop in bowler’s list is Vernon Philander. However, he gained a spot to be among the top five allrounders.
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