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India retain ICC Test Championship mace

"Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead in ICC World Test Championship," said captain Virat Kohli
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: The Indian Cricket Team celebrate winning the Border-Gavaskar trophy during day five of the fourth Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 07, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

India have retained the ICC Test Championship Mace and won the purse of $ 1 million for a third year running after finishing at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings on the cut-off date of 1 April, while New Zealand have ensured second place.

A top place finish was never in doubt for India, captained by Virat Kohli, the number one Test batsman in the world while New Zealand’s consistent performances over the past year saw them climb from third position, needing them to only avoid losing the home series against Bangladesh last month to finish at the same position.

The Kane Williamson-led side, who also had the satisfaction of seeing their captain get the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for 2018, earnt $ 500,000 after finishing with 108 points, eight behind India.

South Africa, who had finished second the previous two times, will now get a prize money of $200,000 for finishing third with 105 points while Australia who edged out Engalnd on decimal points at 104 points bag $100,000.

International Cricket Council chief executive Manu Sawhney congratulated the Indian team while reiterating the importance of Test cricket and looking forward to the start of the ICC World Test Championship later this year.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney: “I congratulate India on retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace and appreciate the passion Virat Kohli’s team has shown across formats over the past few years. It takes so much dedication and determination to consistently perform at the highest level in Test cricket.

“Test cricket has been enjoying a purple patch over the last couple of years with more positive results than ever and a genuine competitive balance between nations. The World Test Championship gets underway in August and will give fans greater context for all Test cricket providing an undisputed conclusion to some of the most renowned cricket rivalries in the international game.

“Nine Test nations will compete across 27 series and 71 Test matches to reach the ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021 where the World Test Champions will be crowned.”

India captain Virat Kohli said: “Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. Our team has been doing well across formats but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the Test rankings. We all know of the importance of Test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format.

“Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year. That is again something we are really looking forward to as it adds more context to Test match cricket.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said: “It’s an awesome achievement for our side to finish second in the ICC Test Team Rankings and as a team we should be very proud. It’s come off the back of a lot of hard work and perseverance; not just by the eleven guys on the field, but the entire squad and support staff.

“It’s been especially pleasing to see the consistency we’ve shown in the longest form of the game over a decent period of time. We’re now all really looking forward to the ICC World Test Championship getting underway and the added context the competition will bring.”

ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 1 April 2019):

 

RANK   TEAM             POINTS

1.         India               116

2.         New Zealand   108

3.         South Africa    105

4.         Australia          104

5.         England           104

6.         Sri Lanka         93

7.         Pakistan           88

8.         Windies            77

9.         Bangladesh     69

10.       Zimbabwe        13

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Jhulan Goswami reclaims No. 1 spot

The lanky speedster has now been at the top for 1873 days
Jhulan Goswami of India celebrates the wicket of Bryony Smith of England during match three of the women's tri-series, India v England at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, India on the 25th March 2018

Photo by Vipin Pawar / BCCI / SPORTZPICS

Indian fast bowling legend Jhulan Goswami has seized back the top position for bowlers in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings after playing an important role in a 2-1 home series win over England in the ICC Women’s Championship.

Goswami, who last held the top spot in February 2017, finished with eight wickets in the series while helping her team reach second position in the eight-team championship that provides direct qualification berths to hosts New Zealand and four other top teams in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021.

Goswami, the most successful bowler in ODIs with 218 wickets, has inched closer to the record for the most number of days at the top. She has now been number one for 1873 days, with only retired Australia fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick having spent more time at the top, for 2113 days.

Goswami’s new-ball partner Shikha Pandey has gained 12 spots to reach fifth position after also finishing with eight wickets against England. It is for the first time in nine years that two India bowlers are in the top five after Goswami and Rumeli Dhar were in that bracket in 2010.

Stylish left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana, who is the leading run-scorer in the current edition of the ICC Women’s Championship with 837 runs, has consolidated her position at the top with a career-best 797 points. The last time Indians topped both the batting and bowling lists was in March 2012, when Mithali Raj and Goswami led the tables.

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