Australia back on top of the world after annual Test update


… Michael Clarke’s side also remains the top ranked ODI side

AUSTRALIA has reclaimed the number-one Test ranking and has also retained its top ODI spot in the Reliance ICC Team Rankings at the May 1 annual update. This is the first time since December 2008 that Australia has been ranked number-one in both Tests and ODIs at the same time. Australia last held the number-one Test ranking in August 2009, when it was displaced after losing 2-1 to England.
Australia has now edged ahead of South Africa, which had held the number-one position since August 2012.
In the latest table, Australia has gained eight ratings points to move up from 115 to 123, while South Africa has dropped from 127 to be level on 123, with Australia ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point.
The results from 2010-11 have now been dropped from the rankings calculation, while the results from 2012-2013 are now reduced to a weighting of 50 per cent. In 2010-2011, Australia had lost to India (2-0) and England (3-1), while it suffered a 4-0 defeat in India in 2012-2013.
Australia captain Michael Clarke was delighted with the news that his side was now on top of both the Test and ODI tables. “We are incredibly proud to be the number-one ranked team in the world in both Test and ODI cricket, which are two of the team’s most important goals,” said Clarke.
“There has been an enormous amount of hard work and effort on and off the field that has led to this result.
“However, the true test of a great side is sustained success and now our goal is to maintain these rankings and continue to play great cricket as we head into challenging Test series against Pakistan and India, and the ICC Cricket World Cup at home,” he added.
Australia was the first team to be ranked number-one in Test cricket when the ICC introduced the current rankings system in 2003. Since the system was introduced, Australia has been ranked as the number-one Test side for 74 months, more than any other side. South Africa is a distant second, having spent 23 months on top.
South Africa had outstanding 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons when it won six of the seven Test series it played. It defeated Sri Lanka (2-1), New Zealand (1-0), England (2-0), Australia (1-0), New Zealand (2-0) and Pakistan (3-0). However, as these series are now only weighted at 50 per cent, it has dropped four ratings points to slip from 127 ratings points to 123.
The biggest change in the rankings table at the annual May 1 update is of India which has slipped from third to fifth after dropping 10 ratings points.
India’s 2010-2011 victories against Australia, New Zealand and West Indies (away), as well as a drawn series against South Africa, no longer count to the rankings. Similarly, India’s 2011-2012 victory against the West Indies, and 2012-2013 victories against New Zealand and Australia are now weighted at 50 per cent. (ICC website)