Former Under-19 stars Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock have achieved career-high positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after firing South Africa to an emphatic 177 runs victory over Australia in the opening Test of the three-match series in Perth on Monday.
Rabada, who took 14 wickets in South Africa’s successful campaign in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014 in the United Arab Emirates, has jumped 10 places to 20th position in the bowlers’ table following figures of two for 78 and five for 92, which later earned him the player of the match award.
The 21-year-old is the fourth South Africa fast bowler to feature inside the top 20 after Dale Steyn (second but ruled out of the series due to a shoulder injury), Vernon Philander (11th) and Morne Morkel (13th).
Rabada now has Australia’s Nathan Lyon firmly within his sights as the 16th-ranked off-spinner is 51 points ahead. Because the Johannesburg-born fast bowler is still in his qualification period, he has an excellent chance of leapfrogging the Australian depending on how he performs in the Hobart and Adelaide Tests. A bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has taken 100 wickets, while Rabada has claimed 36 wickets in nine Tests.
De Kock, who was his country’s most successful batsman in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012 in Townsville with 284 runs, scored 84 and 64 for which he has been rewarded with a jump of 11 places. This has put the left-hander in 20th spot in the batting chart.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has now become South Africa’s third batsman to feature inside the top 20. Hashim Amla is sixth after dropping out of the top five following a five-place slide, while AB de Villiers, who is missing the series due to an injury, is seventh.
The 23-year-old de Kock looks strong to gain more points, which means he can move further up the order as he is still in the qualification period. A batsman qualifies for a full rating after he has played in 40 Test innings, while de Kock has so far scored 720 runs in 17 innings of 11 Tests.
The other South Africa players to reap the benefits for stellar performances in the Perth Test include opener Dean Elgar, who has achieved a career-high 24th position after rising five places, and JP Duminy, whose fourth career century has lifted him nine places to 38th position.
The good news for Australia in the batting table is the movement of David Warner in eighth (up by one place), Shaun Marsh in 31st (up by two places) and Usman Khawaja in 33rd (up by four places) and Peter Nevill in 80th (up by 14 places).
In the bowling index, Josh Hazlewood, who played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2008 and 2010 in Malaysia and New Zealand respectively, has risen two places to ninth following his five wickets, while Mitchell Marsh, who captained Australia to victory in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010, has gained three places and is now in 50th spot after taking two for 77 in the second innings.
South Africa’s Vernon Philander scored 10 and 73, and also took match figures of five for 111 which helped him move up one place to sixth in the all-rounders’ category.