India is currently ranked no. 1 in Test cricket













By Kersi Meher-Homji

After Sri Lanka whitewashing Australia 3-0 in the series in Sri Lanka yesterday, Australia has lost its no.1 Test ranking.

On virtue of winning the series in West Indies 2-0, India has shot up to be top-ranked Test nation.   But for how long?

They HAVE to win the final Test in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, starting today to retain their no. 1 spot. A draw or loss would mean Pakistan will jump to no.1 in Test cricket.

With 112 points India has one point lead over Pakistan (111) who drew the Test series 2-2 against England in England last week. Australia shares the third place with England (108 points each).

How the mighty Australians have fallen! And it was not just Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who captured 13 for 145 in the final Test in SSC Colombo and 28 scalps in the three Test series at 12.75 was the destroyer of Australia.

Almost every Sri Lankan player contributed to their resounding victories; rescuing them from 117 runs all out in the first Test in Kandy and being 5 for 26 in the final Test in Colombo.

Apart from fast bowler Michelle Starc (who took 24 wickets at 15.16 in the series), Australia failed to live up to their reputation. Lack of application and weakness against quality spin bowling on subcontinent pitches were the main reasons for their batting collapses after promising starts.

Subsequent to their convincing victory over Australia, Sri Lanka has risen to no.6 ”“ overtaking South Africa.

Australia’s record in Asia has been poor recently, having lost badly to India in India: 0-4 in 2012-13,     0-2 in 2010-11 and 0-2 in 2008-09. Spin bowling on sub-continental pitches has been their bugbear.

TIDU’s message to skipper Virat Kohli and Team India: “You HAVE TO WIN the final Test against West Indies in Port-of-Spain starting today [Thursday] to retain your top ranking. You would not like Pakistan to snatch it away from you, would you? A draw is not enough.”

Pakistan has not been ranked no.1 at Test level since the official rankings were introduced in 2003. Their highest placing to date is no.2, which they achieved following the series win over England in the UAE at the end of 2015.

I know cricket is not in Olympics 2016 but there is a gold rush as to who will claim the top-ranking ”“ call it a gold medal ”“ in Test cricket next week, India or Pakistan?



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