India have been knocked off the top of the ICC Test rankings by Australia.
The latest table released by the ICC has seen Australia move to top spot for the first time since October 2016. India, meanwhile, have dropped to third after also being leapfrogged by New Zealand. Virat Kohli’s men currently have 114 points, which is one less than the Black Caps and two less than Australia.
“With only two points separating them, this is the second closest the top three teams have been since the Test rankings were launched in 2003,” the ICC said in a statement after the new rankings were revealed. “The closest for the top three teams was in January 2016, when India had led Australia and South Africa by a single point.”
The main reason for the change is down to the 2016-17 period being removed from the latest update. During that period, India won 12 Tests and lost one, including series wins over Australia and England.
Despite the rankings drop, India still remain top of the ICC World Test Championship table with 360 points, which is 64 points clear of second-placed Australia.
Beating India still key for Langer
Australia head coach Justin Langer believes beating India is still key to being able to call themselves the best team in the world.
He said: “I said in my first conference as coach we will know we are a great team if we can beat India in India and that is certainly a great goal for us. We know they are so tough to beat so only then will we really know we can claim the number one spot. The last time we played India here they beat us for the first time in Australia so we will be determined to beat them when they come back.”
Australia also enjoy T20I rise
There was more good news for Australia in the new T20I rankings. They also surged to the top of that list to replace previous leaders Pakistan.
It is the first time Australia have topped the T20 table since it was introduced back in 2011. They now have 278 points, followed by England with 268 and India with 266. Pakistan drop to fourth with 260.
“We have got lots of work to do to become the team we want to be, but over the last couple of years not only have we performed well on the field but we have performed well off it,” added Langer. “We have earned some respect back from other teams around the world but also from Australia.
“When we started on this journey there had been a lot of talk about Australia wanting to be number one in the world in all three forms of the game. We took a different approach. Not once did we talk about being number one ranked in the world, we wanted to be number one in our values and process. That is what I am most proud of,” he added.
England remain top of the ODI rankings ahead of second-placed India.