India’s 178 runs victory over New Zealand in Kolkata has meant that it will be ranked number-one on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings when the Test team rankings are updated at the conclusion of the ongoing series. India’s top spot is guaranteed irrespective of how the third and final Test in Indore, which will be played from 8-12 October, pans out.
Virat Kohli’s side had entered the series against New Zealand trailing Pakistan by one point and needed to win the series to reclaim the number-one ranking for the fourth time since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.
And India achieved this in style when it won the first Test in Kanpur by 197 runs and then dominated the Kolkata Test to romp home with nearly a day to spare.
India has previously been at the top of the table from November 2009 to August 2011 and then briefly during January-February 2016 and in August 2016. To celebrate India’s number-one Test ranking, it will be presented with the ICC Test Championship mace, details of which will be announced in due course.
India’s next challenge will be to put the number-one ranking beyond Pakistan’s reach and this will only be possible if it wins or draws the Indore Test.
If India wins 3-0, then it will finish on 115 point and on 113 points in case of a 2-0 series win. Either of the result will mean even if Pakistan blanks out the West Indies, it will not be able to overhaul India as the highest it can finish will be 112 points.
However, if New Zealand earns a consolation victory, then India will finish on 111 points, which, in turn, will give Pakistan a sniff to reclaim the number-one ranking and the mace.
Pakistan goes head to head with the West Indies from 13 October in the first Test at the Dubai Sports City. This will be the first time the two sides as well as the venue will host a day/night Test.