Dale Steyn, the world's top-ranked test bowler.
A glance at the latest International Cricket Council
rankings are little comfort for New Zealand going into their
two-test series against top-ranked South Africa.
South African players dominate the individual rankings, and
the team will go into the series starting at Cape Town on
Wednesday night knowing even a drawn rubber against New
Zealand will ensure they stay top of the world.
They have a five-point lead over England. However, should New
Zealand draw the series 1-1, South Africa would slip to be
just one point ahead of England on 119 points.
Among the more improbable outcomes, if New Zealand did win
the rubber 2-0 it would still sit a lowly eighth on the
ladder, ahead of only Bangladesh among the ranked
Four South African batsmen - Hashim Amla (No 3), Jacques
Kallis (6), AB de Villiers (7) and captain Graeme Smith (13)
- are in the top 20 on a list headed by Australian captain
New Zealand's only representative in that group isn't even in
South Africa. Former captain Ross Taylor is ranked No 8.
Among the bowlers, South African pace trio Dale Steyn, Vernon
Philander and Morne Morkel are first, second and eighth
respectively. New Zealand have veteran seamer Chris Martin at
No 17 and injured Tim Southee at No 20.
Kallis heads the allrounders list, with New Zealand's Dan
Vettori, also absent due to injury, at No 5.
- David Leggat of the New Zealand Herald in Cape Town