The ICC updated their Test, ODI and T20 rankings and as a result there have been changes with all teams. India had occupied the number one test ranking for the last 42 months but are no longer on top as Australia have dethroned them and taken over the number one position. The Aussies now sit on the points table with a record of 26 matches, 3028 points and 116 on the rating.
New Zealand has taken the second place with 21 matches, 2406 points and 115 on their rating. India have dropped to third place after the new updates to the point table and now have a record of 27 matches, 3085 points and 114 on the ranking.
While Australia have taken over the number one spot on the ICC test ranking, India continue to hold the number one spot on the World Test Championship points table with 360 points. Australia are in second place with 296 points and the Kiwis are in third place with 180 points.
India’s Test Streak – Third Highest In History
A lot of Indian fans will be surprised to know that India now hold the record for the third highest streak in holding the number one test spot in cricketing history. The first highest streak goes to Australia who held it for 95 months during 2001 to 2009. This was a period when Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne were at the heights of their powers and Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting captained the Aussies. They were an unbeatable side and dominated just about every test series they played.
The second highest streak goes to the West Indies who held the number one spot for 89 months during the period of 1981 to 1988. This was a period when Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards shared the captaincy and the West Indies had a deadly line-up of fast bowlers which included Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Michael Holding.
India comes in third on the list for holding on to the number one test spot for a period of 42 months from 2016 till 2020 under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. India have done well under Kohli because they have clicked as a team in both the bowling and batting departments.
Virat Kohli Will Be Disappointed Deep Down
One of the biggest accomplishments that Virat Kohli will treasure in his cricketing career is taking India to the number one position in the ICC Test Rankings. When MS Dhoni suddenly retired from test cricket in 2014, the responsibility was thrust on Kohli’s shoulders and he handled it like a champion.
India claimed the number one spot in test cricket because of their performance between May 2016 to April 2017. During this tenure, India ended up playing 17 tests and won 12 of them. They had 4 draws and only 1 loss during this time with earned them a lot of points and pushed them to the top of the ICC test rankings.
The number one ranking in test cricket was a feather in Kohli’s cap and also head coach Ravi Shastri. The Indian team took a lot of confidence from the ranking and Shastri often told the media that India will play like the number one test team in the world even when they were on tour overseas.
While some might play down the value of the ICC test ranking, Virat Kohli will be hurting deep down. India were whitewashed in a test series in New Zealand earlier this year and Virat Kohli failed with the bat and as a captain. The loss of the number one spot will light a fire under Kohli and also give Ravi Shastri another major goal to work towards.
Ravi Shastri Has Work To Do
Head coach Ravi Shastri has enjoyed enormous success with the Indian team during his tenure as team manager and now head coach. However, India hasn’t done very well in the test arena and Shastri now needs to chalk out a workable plan that can get India back to the top.
Shastri loves to talk a big game but with the 2019 ICC World Cup failure and the loss of the no 1 test ranking, the BCCI needs to review Shastri’s performance as the team has lost a lot of momentum during the last 6 months. If the BCCI believes that Shastri and Kohli can once again plot their way to the top, they should back the duo. However, if BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is not impressed, it is time for India to find a new head coach.