Rabada back as No. 1 Test bowler after 11-wicket haul


South African speedster Kagiso Rabada is back as the number one Test bowler in the world, after his 11-wicket haul demolished Australia in Port Elizabeth Test.

The 22-year-old reclaimed the top spot from England’s James Anderson, crossing the coveted 900-point mark in ratings. With this, Rabada (902 points) becomes only the 23rd bowler to cross the 900 mark and only the fourth South African player to do so after Vernon Philander (highest of 912 points in 2013), Shaun Pollock (909 in 1999) and Dale Steyn (909 in 2014).

Rabada took 5/96 and 6/54 in South Africa’s six-wicket win that levelled the four-match series at 1-1, with two Tests remaining.

At only 22, he has taken 135 wickets in 28 Tests and already has four 10-wicket hauls. Dale Steyn is the only South African to have taken more but his five have come in a career spanning 86 Tests.

Rabada already has more 10-wicket hauls than legends like Glenn McGrath, James Anderson, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Allan Donald.

But he was banned for the two remaining Tests against Australia after being found guilty of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact” with Australian captain Steve Smith after dismissing him in the first innings.

Rabada was also fined 50 percent of his match fee and issued three demerit points after a disciplinary hearing following his denial of the charge. That took his total of points after three previous offences to eight and triggered an automatic two-Test ban.

Australia’s fast bowler Mitchell Starc dropped four places to ninth, after managing only a single wicket during the Port Elizabeth Test.

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