JOHANNESBURG – South African openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram have climbed to ninth and 10th position, respectively, on the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for Test batsmen.
Elgar previously occupied 10th spot, while Markram was placed 11th. Both endured a tough stretch of form in Sri Lanka recently, as the Proteas slumped to a two-nil Test series defeat. The left-handed Elgar gathered 8, 4, 0 and 37 to the right-handed Markram's 0, 19, 7 and 14.
The veteran Hashim Amla, meanwhile, has remained in 14th position after managing just one half-century from his last 10 Test innings. His last Test century was scored in October 2017, against Bangladesh.
In the bowling rankings, seamers Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander were fixed in second and fourth position, respectively. England's James Anderson is in first spot.
Spinner Keshav Maharaj, too, hasn't climbed or lost ground. He is still in 17th position, despite a record-breaking nine-wicket innings haul against the Sri Lankans in late July's series decider.
The left-armer took a dozen wickets in the match - and 16 for the series. Former number one-ranked Dale Steyn is in 24th position, one spot ahead of India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Steyn is nursing a groin injury, while Kumar is recovering from a lower-back strain.
Philander, Rabada and Maharaj are South Africa's representatives in the top 30 of the rankings for Test all-rounders. The stalwart Philander is third only to Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan and India's Ravindra Jadeja. The Proteas star has gathered an impressive average of 68.50 across his last five Test innings, including an unbeaten half-century against Australia in March.
Rabada, in 13th position, and Maharaj, in 22nd, are intriguingly placed higher than genuine Test all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Angelo Mathews. Test retiree JP Duminy owns 34th position until the next rankings are released.
African News Agency (ANA)