Here’s how Team India can become the No.1 Test side in the world again
Team India has a good chance of topping the charts.
Updated - Dec 31, 2020 10:36 am
The confidence will be sky high in the Indian camp after the monumental win in the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Not many had given the team even a chance of challenging Australia let alone winning the game after the heavy loss in the series-opener. India had lost the first Test of the series by eight wickets after being bowled out for 36 in the second innings.
And before the MCG Test, they lost the services of two of their key men – Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami. While the skipper returned home to attend the birth of his first child, the star pacer was ruled out of the entire series with a fractured arm. Missing the likes of Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma only made things worse.
However, Team India defied all the odds and overcame all the hurdles to beat Australia by eight wickets to draw level in the four-match series. The brilliant Ajinkya Rahane rose to the occasion as the stand-in skipper and delivered. He scored a century in the first innings and fitting went on to score the winning runs too as India bounced back in style after the humiliating in Adelaide.
Chance for India to reach the top of the rankings
With momentum on their side, India will be looking to win the next two Tests too. The visitors have never won three Tests in a series in Australia and will be keen to make history. And if the Rahane-led side manage to do it, there will be several rewards for them. First and foremost will be the retention of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In fact, India can retain the trophy even if they win one of the remaining two Tests or draw both of them. Since the visitors are currently the holders of the trophy, they only need to avoid a series defeat to retain it. India, however, will be looking at the larger picture. Winning the remaining two games will see India reclaim the top spot in the ICC Test rankings.
A 3-1 win will be enough for the third-placed team to leapfrog New Zealand to reach the pinnacle of Test cricket. The Black Caps, who are currently involved in a two-match Test series against Pakistan, are presently the top-ranked Test side in the world. In case, the series ends 2-1 in favour of India, they will need some favour from Pakistan.
If Pakistan manage to draw or win the second Test against the Kane Williamson-led side, India will move to the top. Thus, if India win the remaining two games of the series, they will not have to depend on the result of the New Zealand versus Pakistan Test. Australia have a chance of moving to the top too. A series win will be enough for them to overtake New Zealand as the top-ranked Test team. Australia could move to the top even if the series ends 1-1 or 2-2 but in that case, they need Pakistan to win the Test against New Zealand.