Mumbai: Just a two-point difference is enough for Australia to prove they are better than India, as Steve Smith and company have moved to the top of the Test and T20I rankings for men, dethroning India in the latest Test standings. England continues to lead the men’s ODI rankings after the annual update carried out on Friday, which eliminates results from 2016-17.
In the latest points tally, as per the ICC release that rates all matches played since May 2019 at 100 per cent and those of the previous two years at 50 per cent, Australia (116) have taken over from India as the top-ranked side in the ICC Men's Test Team Rankings, with New Zealand (115) remaining in second place. India is now third, with 114 points.
This is also only the second time that such close calls in the team rankings (only two points) have been seen since their launch in 2003. The closest the top three teams came before was in January 2016, when India had led Australia and South Africa by a single point.
Incidentally, India’s ruling has been snubbed after 39 months of dominance by Virat Kohli and his men since October 2016. This is largely because India had won 12 Tests and lost just one Test in 2016-17, the records of which were removed in the latest update. They had won all five series during this period, including against Australia and England. On the other hand, Australia had lost to South Africa as well as to India in the same period.
Proteas, on the other hand, suffered the biggest rating fall, eight points, which sees them drop below Sri Lanka into the sixth place. They had won three series in the period and lost eight of their nine Tests since February 2019, playing Sri Lanka, India, and England.
A positive point for India is they still lead the ICC World Test Championship, a league comprising six series played by each of the top nine Test sides.
England top the ICC Men's ODI Team Rankings, with 127 points. They have increased their lead over India from six to eight points. New Zealand remains in third place, three points behind India, The top ten rankings remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, the updated ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings see plenty of changes. Australia (278) top the list for the first time since the T20I rankings were introduced in 2011. Pakistan, who had overtaken New Zealand to reach the top position in January 2018 and then spent 27 months there, are now fourth, with 260 points.
England has moved into the second position with 268 points while India is up one place to third, just two points behind.
It has not been a good campaign for the Afghanistan side, who have dropped to the 10th position from their 7th spot.just two points behind.