Australia knock India off top of Test rankings


“Australia have shunted India off the top of the Test rankings. ©AFP” />

New Delhi (AFP) – Australia have reclaimed the world number one Test ranking, shunting India off the top of the standings for the first time since 2016.

Just two points separate Australia (116 points), New Zealand (115) and India (114), with cricket suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Virat Kohli’s India had held the number one spot since October 2016.

Last year India claimed their first-ever Test series win in Australia after 71 years of trying.

But the return of Steve Smith and David Warner from ball-tampering bans helped Australia retain the Ashes before series wins at home against Pakistan and New Zealand.

“We recognise how fluid these rankings are, but at this time it was certainly nice to put a smile on our faces,” said Australia coach Justin Langer.

“We’ve got lots of work to do to get to be the team that we want to be, but hopefully over the last couple of years not only have we performed well on the field, but also off the field.”

Langer said beating India on their own turf was their ultimate goal.

“You can only judge yourself as being the best if you beat the best and we’ve got some really tough opposition to come,” said the Australia coach.

India are scheduled to tour Australia later this year.Australia are not slated to play a series in India until 2022.

South Africa dropped below Sri Lanka into sixth place in the rankings while England are fourth.

India still lead the ICC World Test Championship, a league comprising six series played by each of the top nine Test sides.

Australia’s Steve Smith and Pat Cummins are the top-ranked batsman and bowler in Test cricket.

In the one-day rankings, world champions England consolidated their number one position, followed by India and New Zealand.

Australia ended Pakistan’s 27-month stay at the top of the Twenty20 rankings, reaching the summit for the first time.

Australia are due to host the T20 World Cup in October, which is still scheduled to go ahead.

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