India retain Test mace for third consecutive year

India have retained the ICC Test Championship Mace after finishing on top of the Test rankings with 116 points, it was announced on Monday (April 1). India will be awarded one million dollars for the third year in a row while New Zealand finished second with 108 points.

India lost the series in South Africa 1-2 and then went on to lose the five-Test series in England 1-4. They defeated Afghanistan in a one-off Test and also beat Windies at home 2-0 in the two-Test series. Virat Kohli then led his side to a historic first-ever series win in Australia as India won the four-match series 2-1.

“Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. Our team has been doing well across formats but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the Test rankings. We all know of the importance of Test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format,” Kohli said.

“Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year. That is again something we are really looking forward to as it adds more context to Test match cricket.”

New Zealand sealed four consecutive wins in the year. They beat England at home 1-0 in the two-Test series, but their most impressive win came in the UAE against Pakistan. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were humbled by New Zealand at home as they sealed 1-0 and 2-0 series win. Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, said the most pleasing aspect of his side was the consistency displayed throughout the year.

“It’s an awesome achievement for our side to finish second in the ICC Test Team Rankings and as a team we should be very proud. It’s come off the back of a lot of hard work and perseverance; not just by the eleven guys on the field, but the entire squad and support staff,” he said.

“It’s been especially pleasing to see the consistency we’ve shown in the longest form of the game over a decent period of time. We’re now all really looking forward to the ICC World Test Championship getting underway and the added context the competition will bring.”

South Africa were ranked third while Australia and England took the fourth and fifth spot respectively.

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