Rabada climbs to No. 1 in ICC Test bowler’s rankings

Rabada climbs to No. 1 in ICC Test bowler’s rankings

PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has regained the No. 1 spot in the ICC’s Test rankings for bowlers, following his match haul of 11 for 150 against Australia in Port Elizabeth, which helped South Africa level the series. Rabada has also crossed 900 ranking points for the first time in the career – he’s the fourth South African bowler after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn – and now sits on 902, which is 15 points above England’s James Anderson.
Rabada’s peak in the rankings comes a day after he picked up four demerit points for two separate incidents during the second Test against Australia. Consequently, the fast bowler was handed a two-Test ban and will miss the rest of the series against Australia, unless South Africa can successfully appeal against it.
He is three more demerit points away from a third ban in his career. On Monday the fast bowler, who now has four ten-wicket match hauls in 28 Tests and spearheads South Africa’s pace attack, conceded that he “can’t keep doing this” and needed to reassess his conduct.
Among other players involved in the series, batsman AB de Villiers and Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc have had significant changes in their rankings. De Villiers’ scores of 126* and 28 in the second Test have pushed him five places up and back into the top ten of the batsmen’s rankings, where he has displaced Pakistan’s Azhar Ali at No. 7. Mitchell Starc, who managed only one wicket in the second Test, has dropped four places to No. 9. Vernon Philander has dropped a spot to No. 8 among bowlers, but has gained one to break into the top five among Test allrounders.
In a separate development, Rabada has been banned for the rest of the Test series against Australia after being found guilty of deliberately making contact with the tourists’ captain Steve Smith.
Fast bowler Rabada brushed shoulders with Smith after celebrating his dismissal during South Africa’s six-wicket victory in the second Test.
It took the 22-year-old to eight demerit points in a 24-month period, resulting in a two-Test ban.
He was fined 50% of his match fee.
Rabada, who took 11 wickets in the match, also accepted a second misconduct charge of sending off Australia batsman David Warner on day three, taking his total number of demerit points to nine and resulting in a further 15% fine of his match fee.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected Rabada’s claim the contact with Smith was accidental.
“I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate,” said match referee Jeff Crowe.
“It is also disappointing that this has happened the day after the pre-match meeting I had with both teams, where the importance of respect for opponents was highlighted.
“I take no pleasure in seeing a player suspended, particularly a young player of Kagiso’s talent, but he has now breached the ICC code of conduct on a number of occasions.”
Rabada was suspended for one Test against England last summer following an altercation with Ben Stokes.
Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was fined 20% of his match fee and given one demerit point after accepting a charge of using offensive language.


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