Kagiso Rabada reclaims No1 ICC ranking after match-winning performance in Port Elizabeth

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Rabada has reached his highest-ever rating points.

Kagiso Rabada has leapfrogged England’s James Anderson to reclaim the ICC No1 bowler’s ranking in the Test format after his match-winning performance in the second Test against Australia.

The 22-year-old had picked up a five-for in both innings, finishing with a match haul of 11 wickets as South Africa won by six wickets to level the four-match series.

The pacer was awarded the man-of-the-match for his efforts but was later handed a two-Test suspension after being found guilty of two code of conduct breaches.

Rabada touched 902 rating points, his highest ever, to move ahead of Anderson (887) while India’s Ravindra Jadeja remains in the third spot (844).

Ravichandran Ashwin jumped two places in the rankings to climb to fourth position (803).

In the batting department, Australia skipper Steve Smith remained ahead of the curve with 943 points while his India and England counterparts completed the top three.

Virat Kohli remained stationary at second (912) while Joe Root retained his third spot (881).

There was a big jump for Proteas stalwart AB de Villiers after his fabulous performances in the Australia series so far. He moved back in the top 10 as he climbed five spots to claim the seventh spot in the rankings.

In the team rankings, India remained on top of the pile, having already been presented the ICC Test Championship mace while South Africa have been assured of second spot.

With New Zealand set to host England in a two-Test series, both sides have a chance to improve their rankings. The visitors could leapfrog the Black Caps into fourth spot with a series win although the hosts can reach as high as third if they turn out victors. They will however need third-ranked Australia to lose 3-1 to South Africa for that to happen.

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England women's cricketer Danielle Wyatt has a special gift from Virat Kohli up her sleeve

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Wyatt plans to use the bat gifted by Kohli in the tri-series in India.

England women’s cricketer Danielle Wyatt is a fairly well-known name among Indian fans. The 26-year-old had made headlines back in 2014 when she took to Twitter to ask Virat Kohli to marry her.

The proposal had come during the 2014 World Twenty20 where Kohli had just played a fine knock of 72 against South Africa.

Though Kohli didn’t take her proposal too seriously, the India captain did gift Wyatt a bat when India toured England later that year.

That bat could soon make its way to Indian shores when the England women’s team tours India later this month for a T20I tri-series also involving Australia.

In an interview to ESPNcricinfo, Wyatt says she plans to use the bat in the opening match of the tournament when England take on Australia on March 23. “I’m using Virat Kohli’s bat now,” Wyatt was quoted as saying.

“The bat I hit the century with broke not long ago. So now I’ll be using Virat’s,” she added.

Danielle also spoke about her marriage proposal and the mayhem thereafter.

“Ten minutes later (after the marriage tweet), I picked my phone up and I’ve got 1000s of favourites and retweets, it’s all over Indian news, they’re emailing my dad at home,” Wyatt stated.

“When we met, he said: ‘You can’t do things like that on Twitter! They take things seriously!’ I was like, okay. Sorry!”

Wyatt has appeared in 53 ODIs and 73 T20Is for England. Her dreams of marrying the superstar are long over with Kohli tying the knot with long-time partner Anushka Sharma last year. But, she will be hoping that the bat gifted by the India skipper will hold her in good stead.

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Ben Stokes misses out as England retain James Anderson as vice-captain for New Zealand series

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Anderson will continue as Root's deputy for the two Tests.

England have decided to retain James Anderson as vice-captain instead of handing the role back to Ben Stokes for two Tests against New Zealand.

Evergreen seamer Anderson replaced Stokes for this winter’s Ashes, once it became clear the all-rounder would not be available.

Stokes missed the 4-0 defeat to Australia, while he waited to discover if he would be charged over a late-night incident outside a Bristol bar last September.

He rejoined England here in New Zealand only once he had indicated a not guilty plea to affray at Bristol Magistrates Court last month.

Stokes learned on Monday, after a hearing at Bristol Crown Court, that he will face trial in August on a charge of affray alongside two other men, and the next day England announced Anderson will once again be Joe Root‘s deputy for a two-match campaign which starts in Auckland next week.

Speaking after England’s practice session in Hamilton, for two warm-up matches over the next four days, Anderson told BBC Test Match Special: “I’m delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series.”

As in Australia, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker stressed that the extra responsibility will have no major bearing on the way he conducts himself.

“Being a vice-captain doesn’t make me behave any differently in the dressing-room or on the field,” said Anderson.

“It doesn’t change my role in the team a huge amount.

“I see myself as a senior player and I’m there for people if they need advice.

“Certainly if Joe needs help on the field, I’m there for him.”

Anderson is the elder statesman of an England attack which he and Stuart Broad have led for much of the past decade.

Anderson and Broad have led England's attack for almost a decade.

Anderson and Broad have led England’s attack for almost a decade.

He added: “I know what my job is for the team – I’ve got to take wickets with that new ball, create pressure during the middle periods as well, try to take wickets, and help the other bowlers out as well.

“It’s a big group effort when we go on the field, so it’s important that we get that right.

“Again in the dressing-room, it’s trying to get people relaxed and ready to play Test cricket.”

He is one of a clutch of senior players who naturally help others feel at ease on the international stage.

“It’s not just my job; it’s Joe’s, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad have plenty of experience, and the coaches as well who have been around the block.

“It’s our job to help out where we can and try to help this team progress.”

After it emerged that Stokes is set to miss next summer’s showpiece Lord’s Test against India because of a clash with his trial date, it appears likely Anderson will be re-engaged again as vice-captain once back home.

Asked about that prospect, he said: “I honestly don’t mind.

“It’s totally down to Joe.

“It’s an honour that he’s asked me … (but) I’m not looking further than these two Test matches.”

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