England rise to third in ICC Test rankings
What's the story?
England's 3-1 victory over South Africa in the recently concluded Test series earned them the third spot in the latest ICC Test rankings. They gained six points that helped them move up in the table.
Joe Root, the English skipper who led his side in a series for the first time, was gleaming with pride. Pleased with the performance of his team, Root said, "It has been a fantastic team performance and that’s what it takes to win a series like this, everybody contributing and that’s what we have had this time around."
He also hailed the effort of South Africa and appreciated his team for putting up a tough fight. "Credit to South Africa, they put us under pressure a number of times throughout but the way our guys have responded has been exceptional", he added.
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In the last match at Old Trafford, England registered a 177-run victory over South Africa. As a result of which, their points boosted from 99 to 105.
South Africa, on the other hand, were bowled out for 202 while chasing 380 on the fourth day, lost seven points and are now at the second position with 110.
The hosts were widely criticised after South Africa levelled the series 1-1 in the second Test with a 340-run victory. Root explained that the series was challenging but the manner in which they played in the last two games speaks volumes about the talent of his team.
He also addressed the concerns regarding the top order batsmen in the team and stated that the selectors will look into this ahead of their upcoming fixtures.
South Africa have had a long unsuccessful run recently. Prior to losing the Test series against England, they were also defeated by the latter in ODI and T20 series.
England will face Bangladesh in a three match Test series before the Ashes against Australia later this year.
There is no denying that England's performance in this series was impeccable. They dominated the Proteas in the last two games and despite the fantastic comeback made by South Africa in the second Test, England did not let them sustain the momentum.
England's rank after the Test series will certainly boost their confidence for their upcoming encounters. It will be interesting to see if Root and his men successfully continue their winning streak.