India won the 4th Test against Australia in Dharamshala and won the series 2-1. India had to win atleast one Test in this series to retain their no.1 ranking and they achieved that goal in Bengaluru when they defended 188 runs and beat Australia.
India, therefore retained the ICC Test Championship mace and a cool 1 million USD reward for holding the top spot in the ICC Test rankings on the annual cutoff date of April 1. India captain Virat Kohli received the mace from former India captain and ICC Hall of Famer, Sunil Gavaskar. He was also given a cheque of 1 million USD.
South Africa and New Zealand are currently competing for the 2nd and 3rd spot in Hamilton. If South Africa wins the Test, it will end the year on number 2 spot, but if New Zealand wins, Australia will leap frog to the second place, pushing South Africa to number three.
“We are absolutely delighted to have topped the ICC Test rankings. The longest format of the game really tests a team’s character and I’m proud that we have proved ourselves to be the best,” Kohli said.
The team finishing in the second place will get USD 500,000. The team ending their year at number 3 will get USD 200,000. England which currently sits at the fourth position will receive USD 100,000.
Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar had some words of praise for Team India and its achievement. He said, “Being at the top in this format is no mean achievement and proves that the players have been doing well on a consistent basis. The horizon has changed with the development of the limited overs formats but Test cricket has held on to its own even 140 years after it was first played.”
“On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate India for achieving and maintaining number-one status amid some stiff competition, particularly from Australia and Pakistan who both held the top spot over the last year, and South Africa who have had some great Test series wins of late,” said ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson.