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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Its official: India are No 1 in Test cricket

NationalIts official: India are No 1 in Test cricket

NEW DELHI: The fortunes of India in Test cricket continue to surge upwards following the 321-run win over New Zealand in Indore, one that officially puts them at No 1 in the ICC rankings. India had reclaimed the top spot after victory in Kolkata last week but their appointment as the top team in Test cricket was confirmed whenVirat Kohli received the ICC Test Championship mace from Sunil Gavaskar at the Holkar Stadium on Tuesday.
This victory extends India’s series-clinching streak under Kohli to four in a row, following wins over Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies. For the record, since Kohli took over as captain full-time after MS Dhoni retired in December 2014, India have won ten, drawn five and lost only one Test match. And of those draws, three were severely hit by bad weather.


This is the second time in a little over a month that India have been at No 1, and the third time under Kohli’s captaincy. The first time they went to No 1 was in mid-January, when the ICC updated its rankings following England’s 2-0 win in South Africa. India, by virtue of beating South Africa 3-0 at home in December 2015, moved one point ahead of Australia. However, the joy was short lived as weeks later Australia beat New Zealand and reclaimed top spot.

In August, after beating West Indies 1-0, India went back to the top of the ICC table. Again, it was only for a short time as rain ruined the fourth Test between India and West Indies and then Pakistan knocked them off their perch with a 2-2 draw in England.
Kohli’s team needed to win the third Test against New Zealand to hold onto No 1 and keep Pakistan away. It has done just that. The captain was at the forefront of victory, scoring 211 in the first innings at the Holkar Stadium (557/5 declared) which made him the first Indian captain to score two Test double-centuries.

After New Zealand leave, England arrive in India for a series featuring five Test matches starting November 9. In 2017, Bangladesh arrive for their first Test match in India and then Australia will play four Tests.

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