It is official. India have been declared the number one ranked Test cricket squad three year’s running.
They held an eight-point advantage over no. 2 New Zealand as the April 1 cutoff date.
Home ground was productive, where they beat Afghanistan and West Indies. Losing 4 – 1 in England was unexpected, at least from the perspective of the extent of the loss, but they atoned for that by beating Australia in Australia for a first-ever Test series win.
They will receive a nice chunk of cash, about $1.4 million Roos and they get to keep the Test Championship Mace.
Reporters naturally sought comment from India captain Virat Kohli, who told them, “Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. Our team has been doing well across formats but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the Test rankings. We all know of the importance of Test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format.”
Kohli went on the credit the depth of the squad and commented on the value of entering the ICC World Test Championship later this year.
India, in taking the top ranking, was on top all the way. Part of that was no doubt due to Kohli rising to the top of the Test batting table.
Undersized but overachieving New Zealand climbed up a rung from third to second by courtesy of Sri Lanka taking out the Proteas in South Africa, after which the Kiwi XI gained security in their elevated ranking by winning over Bangladesh.
So, it is India, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Australia is ahead of the Poms by decimal points, so fourth position will require work for Australia to preserve and more work in order to improve, but the recent ODI victory in India could be viewed as positive omen, so long as allowances are made for the different formats.