Can India Claim the Top Spot in the Test Rankings?

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India are currently third in the ICC World Test Rankings behind Australia and New Zealand respectively, but with very little separating those three sides in the ratings, it could easily change later this year.

It has been claimed that India have prioritised the limited-overs formats of the game over the last couple of years; however, this has been denied by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

India have played nine Test matches over the last 12 months. They have won seven of those matches and lost two, which shows their form in the five-day game has been excellent.

Their only two defeats this year came in an overseas tour of New Zealand. Conditions were obviously against India and they struggled to score runs on the wickets in those two matches.

Despite losing 2-0, there were some positives to take from the series. Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah all looked in good shape with the ball across those two games.

India also seem to be moving on quite well from MS Dhoni stepping down from his role behind the stumps. 22-year-old Rishabh Pant picked up eight catches with the gloves and is looking like he will be their long-term wicketkeeping choice in Test cricket.

Tour of Australia Later This Year Could Prove to Be Huge

If they are to claim the top spot in the ICC Test rankings, India are going to need to record a series victory over Australia. They will have the chance to do that when they travel Down Under later this year.

Australia have been able to rise to the top of the standings after excellent results in 2019. They retained the Ashes in England following a drawn series which finished 2-2. It’s the first time they have returned back to Australia with the urn since 2001. They are the odds-on favorites in the cricket betting to prevail once again when the two rivals face off in 2021.

The last time Australia were in action in Test cricket, they made light work on Pakistan at home, winning 3-0. It was a dominant performance from the Aussies who scored heavily across those three matches.

India will need to play much better than Pakistan did when they face the world number one team at the back end of this year. Their record in Australia is not the best, however, these latest set of players have a lot of experience playing cricket around the world in different conditions.

Not only could the top spot in the world rankings be on the line for India in the series, it is also part of the 2019-21 World Test Championship. Both sides have a 100% record in this tournament so far.

India are the leaders in the 2019-21 World Test Championship table with 360 points, but Australia are not far behind in second place with 296 points. Whoever wins the series will have a great chance of reaching the final at Lord’s in 2021.

The future is definitely bright for this India team in all three formats of the game. If they do reach the summit of the Test rankings, it will be a fine accomplishment and will silence any doubters who believe Test cricket is dying in India.

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