Ajmal’s ten wickets against South Africa puts him at number three in the ICC rankings.
Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal finished with the best bowling figures of the match against South Africa on Sunday, with 10-150. It is the third time Ajmal has achieved a 10 wicket haul in his career, but it still wasn’t enough to prevent defeat.
It does, however, mean that his position in the ICC’s bowling rankings has jumped from number five to number three. Only Proteas openers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander are now ahead of him, after an incredible year for the South African pace bowlers.
Ajmal did reach number two in the rankings back in December of last year – the best position of his career – but it is no disrespect to him that he hasn’t reached the other-world-like figures of the South Africans.
Philander has of course been the bowling revelation of the last 12 months, with 87 wickets in 15 Test matches. He, Steyn and Morne Morkel all occupy top ten places in the world rankings, the most from a single side.
Both Australia and England have two representatives from their teams, with recent national record-breaker James Anderson ranked number six, just one place above his team-mate Graeme Swann.
Indian Pragyan Ojha and and Sri-Lankan Rangana Herath make up the remaining ten best bowlers.