How India Made it to the Top of the ICC’s World Rankings

Photo courtesy of AaDil on Unsplash

Whether you’re a casual cricket fan or have been keeping track of the predictions at for months, you can’t have missed India’s top spot in the ICC test team rankings. The International Cricket Council announced its new rankings after rating all of the matches played from May 2020 onwards from 100%, while matches played from 2018 were rated at 50%.

The updated ICC rankings replace those from 2017-18. Finishing with 12 wins, four losses, and one draw, the India men’s national cricket team – Team India – has retained its top world ranking, having accumulated a total of 2,914 points from its previous 24 matches. This gives the team an aggregate rating of 121 – just one point ahead of the New Zealand team, which played against India in the final of the World Test Championships and has a total of 2,166 points from 18 matches.

In this blog post, we’ll take a close look at how Team India beat the competition and secured its top spot in the ICC world rankings.

Virat Kohli is a Winning Captain

Until around 2014-15, Team India’s ICC record was nowhere near as impressive. The team’s turning point came when the batsman Virat Kohli took over its captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2014 – despite being just 25 at the time.

Kohli himself is generally regarded as one of the best cricketers in the world. In 2020, he ranked 66th in the Forbes list of the top 100 highest earning athletes in the world and is also the first player in the Indian Premier League to score 6,000 IPL runs. He is currently the top-rated ODI (One Day International) batsman according to the ICC rankings.

Not only is Kohli an invaluable member of Team India, but he also captains one of the best line-ups in the team’s history. Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma comes second to Kohli in the list of ODI batsmen, while bowlers Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah pose a serious threat to opponents.

Keeping Ahead of the Pack

In a statement, the ICC said that “India’s 2-1 win over Australia and 3-1 win over England over the past year … have helped them keep ahead of the pack.” The English batting line-up has been described by commentators as ‘confused’, though the team has managed to climb up the rankings to finish in third place after India and New Zealand, with a total rating of 109.

Australia, by contrast, has apparently slipped down a spot. The Australian team is currently ranked fourth, with just one fewer point than the English team (108). The close competition between England and Australia is potentially another factor that has helped India to outstrip the pack, as they keep each other in check and allow competitors such as India and New Zealand to surge ahead.

Final Word

Now that Team India has managed to defend its top spot, it’s clear the national team isn’t a one-hit wonder. Will we see it in the same position after the 2022-23 ICC rankings?