© AFP

Rabada becomes the 23rd bowler to touch the 900-point mark and the fourth South African after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn. © AFP

Kagiso Rabada’s bittersweet last few days continued when the South African paceman returned to the top of the ICC Test rankings for bowlers in the latest list released on Tuesday (March 13).

Rabada, whose 11 for 150 bowled South Africa to a series-levelling six-wicket win in the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth on Monday, will take no part in the remainder of the four-Test series after being slapped with a two-match ban for breaching the ICC’s Code of Conduct.

His exploits with the ball helped Rabada return to the top of the ratings ahead of James Anderson, the England quick. Rabada now has 902 points, 15 ahead of Anderson. He thus becomes the 23rd bowler to touch the 900-point mark and the fourth South African after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn.

AB de Villiers, the former captain whose 22nd Test century was responsible for South Africa’s 139-run first-innings lead, climbed five places to lie seventh among the batsmen. Steven Smith, the Aussie skipper, continues to lead the way, while Hashim Amla has risen one place to ninth spot.

New Zealand and England, meanwhile, will square off in a two-Test series from March 22 to see which of them finishes at the cash-attracting positions. If England win the series, they will move ahead of New Zealand and into fourth place. New Zealand, however, can upend Australia and finish the annual April 3 cutoff date in the third slot if they can win this series and Australia lose the ongoing Test series to South Africa 1-3.

India have already been presented the Test Mace and the $US 1 million prize money for guaranteeing their No. 1 spot at the cutoff date. South Africa, who are assured of the second place, will earn $500,000. The third and fourth-ranked teams will received $200,000 and $100,000 respectively.