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Rabada climbs to top of Test rankings

Young Proteas quick leapfrogs James Anderson while Steve Smith maintains his dizzying batting high

South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada has overtaken England veteran James Anderson as the top ranked Test bowler in the world.

Rabada led the Proteas to a thrilling 72-run triumph over India at Newlands on Monday, with the right-armer taking five important wickets during the match to help his side a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Rabada is expected to play an important role for South Africa during their four-match Test series against Australia in March, with the 22-year-old likely to form a formidable partnership with fellow quicks Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.

"It’s special to be ranked as the No.1 Test bowler in the world. It is a surreal feeling. It’s what you dream of achieving when you start playing the game," Rabada said after hearing the news.

"Cricket is ultimately a team sport and I’m thankful for the support from my team mates. It’s a great start to the year personally and for us as a team, hopefully we can continue putting in winning performances."

Anderson drops one spot to second in the Test bowler rankings, while Australia trio Josh Hazlewood (fifth), Nathan Lyon (equal ninth) and Mitchell Starc (equal ninth) maintain their places in the top 10.

Australia teammate Pat Cummins has rocketed up to a career high 28th position in the rankings following match figures of 8-119 in the fifth and final Ashes Test against England.

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Victorious Ashes skipper Steve Smith maintains his place at the top of the Test batting rankings after he compiled a whopping 687 runs at an average of 137 during the five-match series.

The best of Smith's remarkable Ashes

Joe Root rises two places and is Smith's closest rival in the rankings, with Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Cheteshwar Pujara making up the top five.

Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh reached career high rankings, with their centuries in Sydney helping them leapfrog to 19th and 20th respectively in the rankings.

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