Dubai: England’s Kevin Pietersen has broken into the top ten of the ICC Test rankings for batsmen following his Man-of-the-Match performance in the Headingley Test against South Africa, which ended in a thrilling draw. Meanwhile, South African fast bowler Vernon Philander has moved to a career-best ranking of three in the rankings for bowlers
Pietersen’s first-innings 149, which including a stunning assault on South Africa’s bowlers on day three at Headingley, earned him a jump of seven places to reach No. 10. He also became the second England batsman in the top ten, behind Alastair Cook who held onto eighth spot despite scores of 24 and 46 in the match.
Alviro Petersen, the South African opener who scored 182 in the first innings, jumped 17 places to occupy 31st place. England debutant James Taylor entered the rankings at 89th after making 34 in his only innings at Headingley. Marlon Samuels was the other gainer in the rankings, moving up four places to 27th after scores of 123 and 52 in West Indies’ five-wicket win over New Zealand at Sabina Park.
In the bowler rankings after the Headingley Test, Philander moved up to third place after match figures of 3 for 98, overtaking Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath. Philander’s current rating of 797 puts him 91 points behind team-mate Dale Steyn and 35 away from Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal. Stuart Broad’s eight-wicket haul at Headingley saw him move two places to seventh.
South Africa need only draw the final Test at Lord’s starting August 16 to knock hosts England off the No. 1 pedestal. A victory will give them the series 2-0 and with it 120 ratings points, pushing England to second place with 117 points. If England win, they will retain their ranking with 121 points, while South Africa will fall to third behind Australia on 114 points.
On the ICC table for Test teams, West Indies and New Zealand swapped places with West Indies now seventh and New Zealand eighth.