Dale Steyn has dropped to fourth on the ICC Test bowling rankings.
He dropped one place, but he is still the top paceman and the only SA player to make the ICC Test Team of the year. The top three spots are occupied by spinners: India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath, who the Proteas will be facing in the Test series starting on Boxing Day.
Steyn is 34 points ahead of England’s Jimmy Anderson and 39 ahead of Australia’s Mitchell Starc.
This is the second time since 1974 when India held the top two spots in the ICC rankings for Test bowlers, the last being Bishan Singh Bedi and leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar.
After picking up a shoulder injury in the first Test in Perth, Steyn was ruled out of thsecond and third Tests in Australia. The Proteas speedster underwent surgery which has subsequently ruled him out for six months. This puts him out of the Sri Lanka tour to SA as well as the Proteas’ tour to New Zealand which kicks off with a T20 on 17 February and ends with a Test series in March.
Vernon Philander is the next highest-ranked Proteas bowler on the list in 11th place but occupies the sixth position as an allrounder, with Kagiso Rabada working his way up the rankings to 17th.
Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers are the highest-ranked Test batsmen for the Proteas and sit in fifth and sixth place respectively.