India achieves number-one Test position

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- India has achieved the coveted Number 1 position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship for the first time after winning its three-Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0 on Sunday.

India is only the third team after Australia and South Africa to surge to the top of the ladder since the Test Championship was first introduced in May 2001.

India had started the series in third place on 119 ratings points trailing top ranked South Africa by three ratings points. But victories by an innings and 144 runs in Kanpur and by an innings and 24 runs in Mumbai have earned Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side the much-needed five ratings points which have given it the Number 1 position.

The 2-0 series win also means India will finish 2009 as the number-one ranked side after starting the year in third place behind Australia and South Africa. Although Australia’s ongoing series against the West Indies will conclude before the year ends, even a 3-0 clean sweep will not be enough for Ricky Ponting’s side to challenge India’s top spot.

South Africa, who had gone top of the Test rankings in August after Australia lost the Ashes to England, will have an opportunity to regain its position when it goes head to head with England later this month in a four-Test series. A series win by 2-0 or better will give Graeme Smith’s side back its top spot but anything less will result in an increase to India’s lead.

The number-one ranking in the most challenging and demanding format of the game should bring smiles on the faces of India players and its millions of supporters as Dhoni’s side last month had missed out on an excellent opportunity to topple Australia from the top spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship.

While the 2-0 success has put India on top of the world, the defeat has dropped Sri Lanka from second place to fourth spot in the Test Championship table which is only updated at the end of a series.

Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship (as of 6 December, after the end of India – Sri Lanka Test series)

Rank   Team                          Rating
1         India                             124
2        South Africa                   122
3        Australia                        116
4        Sri Lanka                       115
5        England                         105
6        Pakistan                          84
7        New Zealand                    80
8        West Indies                     76
9        Bangladesh                     13