After a long wait, Australia has finally recaptured the crown- top spot on the ICC Test rankings.
The merciless 5-0 sweep of England at home in December and January and the thrilling 2-1 series win in South Africa have propelled Australia back into the number one spot on the ICC rankings after a five-year downward spiral.
The good news doesn’t end there- Australia also hold the No.1 spot on the ODI ladder as well.
“We are incredibly proud to be the No1 ranked team in the world in both Test and ODI cricket, which are two of the team’s most important goals,” captain Michael Clarke said of Australia’s narrow edging of South Africa on the ICC list.
“There has been an enormous amount of hard work and effort on and off the field that has led to this result.
“However, the true test of a great side is sustained success and now our goal is to maintain these rankings and continue to play great cricket as we lead into challenging Test series against Pakistan and India, and the ICC Cricket World Cup at home.”
The Aussies dethroned the Proteas after a first-place run lasting since August 2012. Australia moved from 115 points up to 123 while South Africa fell four points to tie, losing the honour by a fraction of a point.
The ICC rankings are calculated according to a four-year cycle that see points accrued outside of that time frame wiped from the standings, meaning embarrassing losses to India in early 2011 and the 3-1 Ashes loss to England in 2010-11 finally came off the books.
“The fact that two years ago we were ranked number five in the world. As captain of the team I remember, it’s still in the front of my mind what was written and said about us once we came back from India,” Clarke continued.
“We were named the worst Australian team to ever tour India and as captain that’s the last thing you want to hear.
“That breaks your heart so I guess to enjoy today and see the other side in what I think is a pretty quick turn-around, in two years we’ve gone from number five to number one, I’m extremely proud of that.”
Australia last held the No.1 spot in 2009 with a side that featured Ricky Ponting as the captain and an opening partnership of Simon Katich and Shane Watson.
ICC Test Rankings
Australia 123 2. South Africa 123 3. England 104 4. Pakistan 103 5. India 102 6. New Zealand 92 7. Sri Lanka 90 8. West Indies 76 9. Zimbabwe 40 10. Bangladesh 21
ICC ODI Rankings
1. Australia 115 2. India 112 3. Sri Lanka 111 4. England 110 5. South Africa 109 6. Pakistan 100 7. New Zealand 98 8. West Indies 94 9. Bangladesh 73 10. Zimbabwe 61 11. Ireland 34 12. Afghanistan 34