What’s the story?
The Indian cricket team brings in 2017 as the highest ranked Test team in the world with their exploits in the past few months proving to be enough to maintain an 11-point lead at the top. Having not played a Test since December, the Indian team are under slight pressure from the Australians now, who have solidified their second position and closed the gap in terms of rating points on India.
The biggest losers in January were Pakistan who have fallen all the way back to 6th place, a mere 5 months after they were on top of the world.
It was a good month for the Kiwis, who pipped Pakistan and are now in 5th place.
In case you didn’t know...
Pakistan suffered two massive losses in the period since the last rankings were released in December, first at Melbourne by an innings and 18 runs, and then a week later, at Sydney by 220 runs.
The South Africans are in third place and within two points of the Aussies now after comfortably overwhelming the Lankans at home.
Bangladesh had a tour to forget in New Zealand as they walked away empty handed after losing the two tests by 7 and 9 wickets respectively.
The heart of the matter
The ICC Test rankings looks like this for the month of January (Updated, 23rd January 2017) -
|Country (Position change from last month)||Rating Points (Points change from last month)|
|#1 India (-)||120 (–)|
|#2 Australia (-)||109 (+4)|
|#3 South Africa (+1)||107 (+5)|
|#4 England (+1)||101 (–)|
|#5 New Zealand (+1)||98 (+2)|
|#6 Pakistan (-3)||97 (-5)|
|#7 Sri Lanka (-)||96 (-)|
|#8 West Indies (-)||69 (-)|
|#9 Bangladesh (-)||62 (-3)|
|#10 Zimbabwe (-)||5 (-)|
What’ s next?
India will look to solidify its place at the top of the rankings when it takes on Bangladesh in a one-off Test in February. Pakistan are left to lament on a poor show in the last few months after climbing to the top of the rankings for the first time ever in July.
The India-Australia series in February will have a heavy bearing on the rankings in the months to come.
January saw plenty of one-sided cricket with Australia, South Africa and New Zealand being absolutely dominant and ensuring they rise up the rankings. India are comfortable at the top right now, but there is intense competition for the 2nd - 7th places.