Philander surpasses Steyn to top rankings

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South African seamer Vernon Philander has surpassed team-mate Dale Steyn at the helm of the International Cricket Council's rankings for Test bowlers.

South African seamer Vernon Philander has surpassed team-mate Dale Steyn at the helm of the International Cricket Council's rankings for Test bowlers.

Philander took seven wickets during last week's drawn series opener against India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, while Steyn managed just one.

The first fixture of the two-match affair also saw right-armer Philander become the fastest South African to reach 100 Test wickets, achieving the milestone in a mere 19 appearances.

"I am happy with my position as the number one-ranked Test bowler. It is an honour to have been bowling alongside a champion like Dale," enthused Philander.

"It has been a great couple of years for our squad, and I have been fortunate enough to contribute to our success on the field.

"What has been the most pleasing though for us has been the all-round contribution from everyone in the squad that has been the main reason for our success over the last few years.

The 28-year-old is the seventh South African to claim the coveted number-one ranking, after former bowlers Aubrey Faulkner (1914-1921), Hugh Tayfield (1955-1958), Peter Pollock (1969), Allan Donald (1998-1999), Shaun Pollock (1999-2003) and Steyn (2008-2013).

"Needless to say, it is always easier to be at the top of your game and successful when you are part of a winning team. Dale has been a tireless workhorse for us and continues to consistently put in quality performances for our team, it is no wonder that he was at the top of the bowling ranking for so long," he added.

The second and final Test will get underway at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.

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