India coach Ravi Shastri during nets session at the 2019 World Cup.(Action Images via Reuters)
India coach Ravi Shastri during nets session at the 2019 World Cup.(Action Images via Reuters)

Rules changed midway but we overcame every hurdle: Ravi Shastri says Team India deserve No. 1 ranking

The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to change the criteria for qualifying for the final in 2020. A percentage system was introduced. But India still ended as the No.1 team in the World Test Championship points table
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 14, 2021 11:15 AM IST

India has been the numero uno team in Test cricket for five straight years now.. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli and the under the watchful eyes of head coach Ravi Shastri, Team India have performed consistently well in the longest format of the game. They have become the side to beat in Test cricket and have consistently maintained their top position in the rankings.

India also ended as the No.1 team in the World Test Championship points table and will face New Zealand in the final on June 18. However, in 2020, the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to change the criteria for qualifying for the final. A percentage system was introduced. India's chances of qualifying for the final depended on the results of their last Test series against England.

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Despite being on top of the table, India needed to win or draw the 4th Test against England in March 2021. If Kohli & Co. had suffered a defeat, Australia, who were at the third position with 69.2 percentage points, would have qualified for the final of the tournament. But it did not happen as India won the match and ended the campaign on 72.2 PCT.

India's head coach Ravi Shastri says his team deserved the status of the world's number one Test side after overcoming every obstacles, including a change in points system, on its journey to the summit.

India remained the number one Test side after the annual update of the ICC team rankings was released on Thursday.

Shastri was chuffed about it.

"This team has shown steely resolve & unwavering focus to be crowned No. 1. It is something the boys have earned fair & square. Rules changed midway but #TeamIndia overcame every hurdle along the way. My boys played tough cricket in tough times. Super proud of this bindass bunch," Shastri tweeted.

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The former India captain has been serving as the head coach of the Indian team since 2017, having got an extension after the 2019 ICC World Cup.

India head the table after gaining one rating point for an aggregate of 121, having accumulated 2914 points from 24 matches.

Virat Kohli's men are closely followed by their World Test Championship final opponents, New Zealand, with a rating of 120. The Kiwis have garnered 2166 points from 18 Tests and gained two rating points.

India's 2-1 win over Australia and 3-1 win over England over the past year and New Zealand's 2-0 series wins over the West Indies and Pakistan have helped them keep ahead of the pack.

According to an ICC statement, the latest annual update eliminates results of 2017-18.

Southampton will play host to the WTC final between India and New Zealand from June 18 to 22.

(with PTI inputs)

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