Stuart Broad eager to help England to top of Test rankings

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Football News

England's match-winner Stuart Broad is on a mission to help carry his country back to the top of the world Test table.

Broad is already number one himself in the International Cricket Council's bowlers' rankings, after his brilliant spell in Johannesburg on Saturday.

He finished with figures of six for 17 as current table-toppers South Africa were bowled out for just 83 in their second innings, before England completed a seven-wicket win to clinch the series with an unassailable 2-0 advantage.

Broad took five for one in 31 balls after lunch, revisiting his priceless knack of irresistible game-breaking spells - as he memorably did with a career-best eight for 15 when England wrapped up the Ashes on his home ground at Trent Bridge last summer.

His heroics at The Wanderers took the 29-year-old seamer up from third to the top of the ICC rankings, the first English bowler to reach number one since Steve Harmison more than a decade ago.

Broad is proud of that achievement, but has made it clear there are more important ambitions as part of Alastair Cook's improving team.

"It's very special to be up there," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But at the end of the day, individual things like that aren't really overly important."

Instead, England's progress from a modest sixth at present in the rankings is foremost in his mind.

"It's about moving the team forward," Broad added.

"We have a goal to be the best Test team in the world, and I hope I can contribute to making that happen."

Joe Root was also a contender for man-of-the-match honours in Johannesburg, with his ninth Test century as England took a marginal first-innings lead.

He is predicting further collective success.

"We're definitely moving in the right direction," the vice-captain told Sky Sports.

"Against the number one side in the world at the moment, to come and do that here in South Africa is a phenomenal effort from all the guys - and it's nice to see reward for all the hard work they've put in."

England's series victory follows a 2-0 defeat against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates before Christmas.

But Root added: "We're growing in confidence all the time.

"Coming here and winning away is a huge effort, and we're gaining (that) confidence from everything we've achieved over the last six months."

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