Vernon Philander replaces Dale Steyn at top of ICC Test rankings

Vernon Philander

Dale Steyn's four-year reign as the world's best Test bowler has been ended by countryman Vernon Philander.

South African Philander, 28, moved top of the International Cricket Council's rankings after finishing with 7-129 in last week's drawn first Test against India in Johannesburg.

"It is always easier to be at the top of your game and successful when you are part of a winning team," said Philander, who took his first 100 Test wickets in just 19 matches and played for Kent last summer.

Proteas fast bowler Steyn, who has taken 341 Test wickets at an average of 23.07, had been at the top of table since July 2009 after replacing Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

Stuart Broad is the highest-ranked Englishmanexternal-link in ninth place. Spinner Graeme Swann finishes his Test career in 15th spot after deciding to retire from all forms of cricket.

South Africa are also the top Test nation, while AB de Villiers leads the Test batsmen rankingsexternal-link ahead of countryman Hashim Amla in second place. Ian Bell is the best-placed English batsman in 13th place.