The Australian cricket team have moved to the top of the Test rankings for the first time in nearly four years after the International Cricket Council released their annual rankings update on Friday.
With only three points separating the top three spots in the world, the Baggy Greens are closely followed by neighbours New Zealand and Virat Kohli’s India, who occupied first place since 2016.
Australia have also claimed top-spot in T20 cricket for the very first time since the format was introduced on an international level.
Justin Langer’s men only lost two of their previous 12 red-ball matches, which included the famous retaining of the Ashes in England last year.
The former Australian opening batsman took over from Darren Lehmann following Australia’s infamous ball tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018.
Given the tough start Langer endured in his first few months, under the new captaincy of Tim Paine, Australia have slowly found their rhythm again, especially since the return of David Warner and Steve Smith, who served 12 month bans for their hand in sandpaper gate.
‘We recognise how fluid these rankings are, but at this time it was certainly nice to put a smile on our faces. We’ve got lots of work to do to get to be the team that we want to be, but hopefully over the last couple of years not only have we performed well on the field, but also off the field,’ said Langer.
Smith’s reintroduction immediately yielded a significant amount of runs, which has also saw him awarded the top-ranked batman, while Pat Cummins is the No1 bowler in the world in Test cricket.
Langer, though, admits that the goal now is to stay at the top and continue to challenge the best teams in the new World Test Championship.
‘Certainly a goal for us has been the World Test Championship, but ultimately, we have to beat India in India and we’ve got to beat them when they come back (to Australia).
‘You can only judge yourself as being the best if you beat the best and we’ve got some really tough opposition to come.’
Following a 3-1 defeat to England over the summer, Mark Boucher’s Proteas team is struggling down the list in sixth spot.
ICC Test rankings
1 – Australia (116 points)
2 – New Zealand (115)
3 – India (114)
4 – England (105)
5 – Sri Lanka (91)
6 – South Africa (90)
7 – Pakistan (86)
8 – West Indies (79)
9 – Bangladesh (55)
10 – Zimbabwe (18)