The six centurions from the recently concluded Test matches in Johannesburg and Wellington have been rewarded with improved positions in the latest ICC Test batting rankings.
South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who made 134 in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka and became the eighth batsman to score a century in his 100th Test, has jumped four places to claim sixth position, while JP Duminy, who scored 155 and added 292 runs for the third wicket with Amla, has vaulted nine places to secure a career-high 33rd position.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar, who won the player of the series award, ended the series in joint-21st position.
Fiery fast bowler Kagiso Rabada stole the limelight with the ball, returning figures of 3-44 and 2-50 in Johannesburg, and was rewarded with a lift of three places to fifth in the Test bowling rankings.
Radaba is now South Africa’s highest-ranked bowler and is one spot ahead of the decorated Dale Steyn, who missed the series due to an injury.
The 21-year-old leads Steyn by two points and trails Sri Lanka’s fourth-ranked spinner Rangana Herath by six points.
Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep leapt six places to a career-best 33rd spot following figures 4-78 in South Africa’s only innings.
The Proteas defeated the tourists by an innings and 118 runs in Johannesburg, completing a 3-0 series win. The result means third-ranked South Africa has gained four points and has moved up to 107 points, two behind Australia, while seventh-ranked Sri Lanka has dropped four points to sit on 92 points.
The Wellington Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh also produced some exceptional batting performances from both the sides, with those players duly recognised in the latest rankings.
Shakib Al Hasan, who hammered 217 (the highest individual score by a Bangladesh batsman in Test cricket) has achieved a career-high ranking of 23rd after jumping eight places, while captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 159 and put on 359 runs for the fifth wicket with Shakib, has risen 10 places to 35th position.
New Zealand’s first innings total of 539, which came after Bangladesh piled on 8-595dec, revolved around opener Tom Latham, who scored 177. The left-hander’s century resulted in a climb of five places to 31st.
After New Zealand was set a victory target of 217 runs, captain Kane Williamson hit a clinical 104 not out to help his side romp home with seven wickets to spare.
Fourth-ranked Williamson earned 29 points, leaving him just two points shy of third-ranked Joe Root. If Williamson performs strongly at the Hagley Oval, he has a chance to return to the No.3 ranking.
While the Test team rankings will be updated at the end of a series, New Zealand is well placed to move ahead of Pakistan. But they will have to win the Christchurch Test, which starts on Friday, to achieve their goal.
If New Zealand prevails, then they will move one point ahead of Pakistan, while in case of a draw, it will join Pakistan on 97 points but will be behind by a fraction of a point.