A washed out the match against West Indies, cost India to lose the top ICC Test ranking to arch-rivals Pakistan on Monday. India slips to number 2 in ICC test ranking as Pakistan claim the top spot for the first time. India needed to win the series 3-0 against the West Indies to remain the No 1 Test team regardless of results of other series following Australia relinquishing their top position after being whitewashed 3-0 by Sri Lanka last Wednesday.
India had entered the series on 112 points, 44 points ahead of eighth-ranked West Indies. And because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, India’s failure to win by a better margin has resulted in it dropping two points and the West Indies earning two points.
“There is no greater feeling than to achieve the number-one ranking in the most traditional and purest format of the sport. This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their careers,” Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said.
“For us, the number-one ranking is not a destination but part of a journey. Our long-term objective and strategy is to remain competitive, continue to challenge the top sides with good cricket and once again become the most followed side like the Pakistan teams of yesteryears. If we can achieve these on a consistent basis, then I am sure there will more laurels like this down the line,” he added.
For Pakistan, Misbah-ul-Haq’s side has become only the fifth team after Australia, England, India and South Africa to top the ICC Test rankings since these were introduced in 2003.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated Pakistan on achieving the number-one Test ranking.
“The number-one ranking is well deserved and a testament to the quality of cricket the team has consistently played over the past few years. The past few weeks of Test cricket have been incredibly absorbing with some high-quality competitive series being played, exhibiting what is so special about Test cricket,” the ICC Chief Executive said.
The battle for the number-one ranking between the two traditional rivals will resume next month when New Zealand visit India and Pakistan host the West Indies in the UAE.
Both the series will be three-Test rubbers.