The ICC Test Rankings, also known as the ICC Test Championship, ranks the 10 Test playing nations by giving them a rating, which is based on a mathematical formula. Each team's points total from matches over the last 3−4 years is divided by a figure based on their total number of matches and series played.
The ICC awards the Test Championship Mace to the no. 1 Test team, which is the team which achieves the highest rating. The Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli, currently holds the mace, after finishing the year as the world no. 1 side, following their win against Australia in the four-match Test series held in Australia. They went on to win the series 2-1, and ensured that they stayed on top of the rankings. The Indian Cricket Team also defeated The England Cricket Team in Feb-Mar 2021 winning the series by 3-1 and retaining the World No. 1 Test Team Title.
Virat Kohli's men had a phenomenal home season in 2016-17, where they defeated England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Australia, at home. India then whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in Sri Lanka. Although they competed well, they lost 1-2 and 1-4 in South Africa and England respectively. India redeemed themselves with a historic 2-1 Test series victory on Australian soil in 2018/19.
Australia, has performed exceptionally well, occupies the first spot. India are in the second spot. New Zealand were previously at the top of the rankings, currently finds themselves in the third position.
The ICC decided to award Afghanistan and Ireland the status of Test-playing nations after all the success they achieved over the past couple of years. The ICC Test Championship is also a great initiative to encourage the associate nations to take up test cricket.