After staying at the top of the rankings in test cricket for a continuous period of 5 years and winning as many as 4 test maces under the leadership of the former Indian captain Virat Kohli, India is not at the top of the annual test rankings anymore, as it’s Australia which is the no. 1 test team in the world in the annual test rankings released by International Cricket Council (ICC) today.
Although the concept of a test mace is not there now. It has been replaced by the World Test Championship (WTC) and the mace is now given to the team which wins the WTC final, as it was given to New Zealand when they beat India in the WTC final last year at Lord’s, but ICC’s annual test rankings still suggest which team has played the best cricket in the longest format of the game in that calendar year.
As far as the recent test performances of India and Australia are concerned, India lost an away Test series against South Africa by 1-2. It was an away series, but India was still expected to win that, because South Africa had a young team in the transitional phase, while India had a well-settled team, even though a couple of their key players were injured.
Australia beat England at home and Pakistan away recently
Australia, on the other hand, didn’t just win the Ashes against England in a very dominant manner at home, they then went to Pakistan, which was a very tough tour for them as the conditions were different from what they generally find back home, but the Kangaroos managed to win that away series as well.
So, it wasn’t really a surprise for anyone that, when ICC released the annual test rankings this time around, Australia was on top, while India slipped down. However, the winner of the test mace will be decided by the final of the WTC once again, as happened last year.