South Africa’s Amla officially the best batsman in the world

The South African number three tops both the Test and ODI tables in the ICC world rankings. South Africa’s back-to-back...

The South African number three tops both the Test and ODI tables in the ICC world rankings.

South Africa’s back-to-back Test victories over Pakistan have seen batsman Hashim Amla rise to the top of the world rankings for the first time. As he is already number one in the ODI format, Amla is technically now the best batsman in contemporary cricket.

The Durban-born player scored 83 in his two innings in the first Test against the Pakistanis, before making 37 and 74 not-out in the second. In the second Test, he and AB de Villiers racked up 186 runs, before South Africa declared on 275-3, giving their team the platform to win in Cape Town.

Amla made his Test début in 2004 against India, but had to wait four more years until he broke into the ODI squad. He averages over 50 in both Test and one-day cricket at present and he became the first South African to make over 300 runs last year - when he scored an unbeaten 311 against England.

His best year to date was in 2010, when the assured batsman hit over 1000 runs in South Africa’s Tests and ODIs, averaging over 75 in both formats. During the South Africans tour of India that year, Amla scored 489 runs in just three innings and was dismissed only once.

Amla is now recognised as the best batsman currently playing the game by the ICC, with Australia’s Michael Clarke his closest rival. South Africa’s superiority in world cricket is shown by the fact that de Villiers and Jacques Kallis are also in the top ten.

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