Virat Kohli’s Indian side in both Tests and ODIs have enjoyed the fervour and frenzy in the highly anticipated series against South Africa that in turn has helped them to be on top of the world.
The Indian team is playing a positive brand of cricket and the hard work put has derived necessary results. No wonder the team in both Tests and ODIs are sitting atop of the ICC Rankings and the unit looks like the side that has every rival in a quest to conquer their feat.
#TeamIndia secure No.1 ODI status
India, the top-ranked Test side, have also sealed the first spot in the ICC ODI rankings following their maiden series win in South Africa pic.twitter.com/eVDnFZPhKw
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 14, 2018
After a stunning ODI series victory against the Proteas on their soil, India cemented their status as World No. 1 after riding on an emphatic all-round show. On the course they went on to register another bilateral series victory; their ninth in succession. It is a dream affair for Kohli & Co. to dominate world cricket home and away and in current form, it looks they are unstoppable.
Earlier, despite the 2-1 loss in the Test series last month, India retained the ICC Test championship mace and an award of $1 million for the second successive year. South Africa stay on second and with the four-match Test series coming on their way against a fancied Australian team, will still not usurp India as far rankings are concerned even if they go on to win the battle.
The solitary win in the third Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg helped India to end with 121 points and that was a turning point in the side to stake their claim for the mace. They followed it with the ODI series win and notch their first ever series in South Africa. India have 122 points and a win in the final ODI, will increase the tally to 123.
ICC ODI RANKINGS (TOP 3)
- India – 122 points
- South Africa – 118 points
- England – 116 points
The ODI Run
India have been phenomenal since 2016 in the limited overs format and have taken a serious liking for the ODIs with nine successive bilateral series wins. The versatility in the team has allowed Kohli the breathing space and the skipper has led from the front both as an individual and for the side. Kohli’s run-scoring volume helped him bag the ODI Player of the Year Award for 2017.
The run in the ODIs has been an astounding effort where they have excelled in a commanding fashion. The domination in the format started when India toured Zimbabwe in 2016 and from there on there was no looking back. Major wins at home followed against New Zealand and England in 2016-17. After the Champions Trophy finale loss to Pakistan last year, India were back to usual business.
They beat the West Indies, Sri Lanka (twice), Australia, New Zealand and now in 2018 they followed it with the series win against South Africa. This bodes a sense of optimism in the upcoming future with the ICC World Cup next year in England. Kohli has a side that boasts of solid bench strength and character. And the players have responded to the aggressive brand of cricket.
ICC TEST RANKINGS (TOP 3)
- India – 121 points
- South Africa – 115 points
- Australia – 104 points
ICYMI: India retain the mace as victory in Johannesburg means they cannot be caught atop the @MRFWorldwide ICC Test Team Rankings.
📰 https://t.co/FJ0pKnJ3Ig pic.twitter.com/G4vrqGqIBd
— ICC (@ICC) January 28, 2018
The Test supremacy
India will keep possession of the prestigious ICC Test Championship mace for the second year in succession at the April cut-off. Skipper Kohli will once again be presented with the mace, which is a symbol of excellence and a recognition of a side’s outstanding performance in the purest format of the game. The Test team has been splendid to watch with everybody chipping in with the goods.
Despite the 2-1 Test series loss against the Proteas, India showed a resolute character led by the bowlers. Indian pacers were excellent in the three-match series after picking 53 wickets. After a solid show in the sub-continent over the last two years, India had come to South Africa with nine successive Test series wins. This in turn tells how far the team has come forward especially with Kohli at the fore.
With tours of England and Australia next, India know they can build on the background of the success and also the vital experience gained in South Africa.
ICC T20I RANKINGS (TOP 3)
- Pakistan – 126 points
- New Zealand – 122 points
- India – 121 points
Next Numero Uno in T20Is?
What India will eye is a total domination in world cricket. And T20Is is the next big thing for Kohli’s men to find a way to the top. The shortest format brags of several teams all being supreme and there is often little space that separates them. India is currently third in the ICC T20I rankings and there is a chance to better their points tally in the upcoming three-match series against the Proteas.
Like the ODIs, the focus for India will be laying the platform for the next big ICC tourney. The World T2o in 2020 will give the fans a glimpse on how far India has come in this format.