Tuesday, March 28, 2017



·       Kohli: “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”
·       Mr Sunil Gavaskar: “Congratulations to the Indian team for its superb performances. Being at the top in this format is no mean achievement and proves that the players have been doing well on a consistent basis.”

·       Mr David Richardson: “I’m sure being recognized as the best Test nation is something that the team will really be proud of and I look forward to another year of outstanding Test cricket being played as they look to defend their position.”

·       South Africa needs to draw the Hamilton Test to finish ahead of Australia in second place

The Indian cricket team has retained the ICC Test Championship mace and has also won a cash award of $1 million for ensuring top position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team rankings on the annual 1 April cut-off date.

Captain Virat Kohli received the mace and cheque from ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar at a ceremony after the fourth and final Test against Australia in Dharamsala, in which Ajinkya Rahane led the side as Kohli could not play due to a shoulder injury.

India had entered the series against Australia needing to win at least one Test to retain possession of the prestigious mace, which it had reclaimed following the Indore Test against New Zealand in October 2016.

The second and third places in the rankings will be decided after the ongoing Hamilton Test between South Africa and New Zealand. If South Africa wins or draws the Test, it will be assured of second place but a loss will see Australia finish ahead of it in second place.

The side to finish second will get $500,000 while the side finishing third will receive $200,000. The fourth-placed team, which is England, will get $100,000.

Virat Kohli: “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.

“Being presented with the Test championship mace last year was an exhilarating experience and the feeling is no different this time.

“I’d like to both congratulate and thank everyone who has been part of this success. This includes not only all the players who have been in the squad but also the team management and support staff, without whom we could not have done so well. It has not been an easy journey but all the hard work has been worth it.

“We have maintained our position with some really good cricket in recent months. The team has shown the tenacity to bounce back from difficult situations.”

Sunil Gavaskar: “Congratulations to the Indian team for its superb performances in Test cricket. 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. Everyone recognizes that Tests are the ultimate trial of a cricketer’s caliber. It’s good to see the players enjoy the challenges that Test cricket presents and have high regard for others who do well in the format.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson: “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. The team has shown great consistency over the last 12 months, it possesses a variety of talent and is an exciting team to watch.”

“I’m sure being recognized as the best Test nation is something that the team will really be proud of and I look forward to another year of outstanding Test cricket being played as they look to defend their position.”

About the ICC Test championship mace:

·       The ICC Test Championship mace is awarded to teams that reach the number-one spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings.
·       The team that is number-one ranked at the 1 April cut-off date gets a cash award of $1 million. The team placed second gets $500,000, the third $200,000 and the fourth $100,000.
·       India’s longest tenure at the top was from November 2009-August 2011 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
·       Other captains to have received the mace include Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (Australia), Andrew Strauss (England), Dhoni, (India), Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan), Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla (South Africa).
·       The ICC Test Championship mace was produced by the then British Crown Jeweller, Asprey and Garrard, in 2001.
·       The mace, a 90cm silver and gold-plated trophy based on a cricket stump as its shank and topped by an orb representing the cricket world, was valued at stg£30,000 in 2001
·       Current Test rankings system was introduced in 2003

Wednesday, March 8, 2017



·       Smith overtakes Ponting in reign at the top of batsmen’s rankings
·       Shakib overtakes Ashwin to No. 1 spot among all-rounders
·       India’s Test win assures it top-ranking on April 1 and $1 million cash prize

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have become the first pair of spinners to be jointly top-ranked in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers as Jadeja has caught up with his spin-partner in the rankings released today after the second Test against Australia in Bengaluru.

Jadeja’s seven wickets in the match, which included a crucial six for 63 in the first innings, have helped him move up one rank to reach the top position for the first time in his career. The last time two bowlers shared the top spot was in April 2008 when Dale Steyn and Muttiah Muralidaran were at the top.

Ashwin too played an important role in the match, which India won by 75 runs to level the four-match series 1-1, so as not to concede the top ranking. His eight wickets took him past spin legend Bishan Bedi’s tally of 266 wickets and made him the fifth-highest wicket-taker for India in Tests with 269 wickets.

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon’s eight wickets in the match have lifted him two places to 16th rank while his team’s left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe and India pace bowler Umesh Yadav have gained one place each to reach career-best 28th and 29th places, respectively.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen Australia captain Steve Smith has maintained his reign at the top for 77 Tests, going past Ricky Ponting’s 76 matches and now has the third longest stint at the top among Australians after Steve Waugh (94) and Don Bradman (93).

His team-mates Matt Renshaw has gained six places to reach a career-best 28th rank with knocks of 60 and five while left-hander Shaun Marsh has moved up five places to 37th position with scores of 66 and nine.

India captain Virat Kohli has conceded the second rank to England’s Joe Root after managing only 27 runs in the match and 40 in the series so far. Root is now one point ahead of Kohli at 848 points.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s innings of 17 and 92 have lifted him up five places to sixth rank while Ajinkya Rahane has moved up two places to 15th rank after scoring 17 and 52 in Bangalore. Player of the match Lokesh Rahul has gained 23 places to reach 23rd spot after scores of 90 and 51.

The list of all-rounders saw a change at the top as Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan moved ahead of Ashwin, who has scored only 20 runs in four innings against Australia so far. Ashwin had overtaken Shakib in December 2015.

India’s win in the second Test assures it the No.1 spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings on the April 1 cut-off date and a cash prize of $1 million. The fight is now for the second, third and fourth places.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 8 March, after the first Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru)

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts       Avge   Highest Rating
   1       ( - )       Steve Smith      Aus      936      59.32   939 v Ind at Pune 2017
   2       (+1)      Joe Root           Eng      848      52.80   917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
   3       (-1)       Virat Kohli         Ind       847      49.90   895 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017
   4       ( - )       K.Williamson     NZ        823      50.07   893 v Aus at Perth 2015
   5       ( - )       David Warner    Aus      794      48.27   880 v NZ at Perth 2015
   6       (+5)      C. Pujara          Ind       793      49.84   851 v SA at Durban 2013
   7       (-1)       Hashim Amla    SA        787      49.99   907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
   8       (-1)       Azhar Ali           Pak      779      47.07   787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016
   9       (-1)       Younus Khan    Pak      772      53.06   880 v SL at Lahore 2009
  10      (-1)       Q. de Kock       SA        760*    51.04   769 v SL at Cape Town 2017

Other selected rankings

Rank    (+/-)      Player               Team     Pts        Avge    Highest Rating
15        (+2)      A. Rahane        Ind       719      45.96   825 v NZ at Indore 2016
23        (+23)    Lokesh Rahul    Ind       656*!   40.88   656 v Aus at Bengaluru 2017
28        (+6)      Matt Renshaw   Aus      631*!   53.22   631 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017
37         (+5)     Shaun Marsh    Aus      576*    38.27   591 v SA at Perth 2016
64=      (+3)      W. Saha           Ind       431*    29.82   457 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017

Bowlers (top 10)

Rank    (+/-)      Player                Team     Pts      Avge      Highest Rating
  1=      ( - )       R. Ashwin         Ind       892      24.79    904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016
            (+1)      R. Jadeja          Ind       892!     23.44   892 v Aus at Bengaluru 2017
   3       (-1)       J. Hazlewood    Aus      863!     24.38   863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017
   4       ( - )       R. Herath          SL        827      28.31   867 v Zim at Harare 2016
   5       ( - )       K. Rabada        SA        821*!   21.76   821 v SL at Johannesburg 2017
   6       ( - )       Dale Steyn        SA        819      22.30   909 v WI at Centurion 2014
   7       ( - )       J.Anderson       Eng      810      28.50   884 v SL at Durham 2016
   8       ( - )       Stuart Broad     Eng      803      28.54   880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016
   9       ( - )       V. Philander      SA        798      21.40   912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
  10=    ( - )       Mitchell Starc    Aus      757      28.35   805 v Pak at Brisbane 2016
            (+1)      Neil Wagner      NZ        757      28.58   760 v SA at Centurion 2016

Other selected rankings

Rank    (+/-)      Player               Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating
16        (+2)      Nathan Lyon     Aus      654      33.09    696 v NZ at Wellington 2016
28        (+1)      Steve O'Keefe   Aus      528*!   20.86   528 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017
29        (+1)      Umesh Yadav   Ind       517*!   36.53    517 v Aus at Bengaluru 2017

All-rounders (top five)

Rank    (+/-)      Player                Team      Pts      Highest Rating
   1       (+1)      S. Al Hasan       Ban      441      443 v NZ at Christchurch 2017
   2       (-1)       R. Ashwin         Ind       434      493 v Eng at Mohali 2016
   3       ( - )       R. Jadeja          Ind       360      407 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017
   4       ( - )       Mitchell Starc    Aus      332      347 v Ind at Pune 2017
   5       ( - )       Ben Stokes       Eng      327/*   351 v Ind at Mohali 2016 

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
!indicates career-highest rating
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