After just 10 Tests, South Africa opener Aiden Markram has broken into the top 10 of international batsmen following his exploits in the Test series against Australia.
In the latest ICC rankings, he surged six places to No 9, on the back of his innings of 152 and 37 which contributed to South Africa’s massive 492-run victory over Australia in Johannesburg for a 3-1 series win. It also put him among a select group of 10 cricketers, led by Don Bradman, who have scored 1,000 runs or more in their first 10 Tests.
Markram’s opening partner Dean Elgar remained at No 8 after scoring 100 runs in the Test, which included a knock of 81 in the second innings, while captain Faf du Plessis (up five places to 17th) and Temba Bavuma (up 12 places to 39th) are the other South Africa batsmen to make significant gains. AB de Villiers remains at No 6.
Vernon Philander also surged six places to No 3 on the bowling list ― behind compatriot Kagiso Rabada and James Anderson ― after his remarkable performance on the last day of the fourth Test where he took six wickets for 21 runs – a match total of 9-51. He also moved up two places to No 3 on the all-rounders list.
Morne Morkel, who bowled despite a side strain in the second innings of his last Test, ended his Test career on a high when he touched 800 rating points for the first time. He is now ranked joint-No 6 along with Australia’s Pat Cummins, who has risen up from 18th with nine wickets in Johannesburg.
The 33-year-old Morkel, who debuted in the 2006 Boxing Day Test against India in Durban, first broke into the top 10 in January 2010. His consistent performances ensured that he was never ranked lower than 15th from that time until retirement, while enjoying a career-high No 3 ranking in November 2010.
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