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Virat Kohli-led India presented with ICC Test Championship mace

Virat Kohli-led India won the ICC Test Championship mace for a second year running and have now been at the top of the rankings since October 2016.

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2018 10:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,Indian cricket team,ICC Test Championship
Sunil Gavaskar (L) and Graeme Pollock (R) present Indian captain Virat Kohli (C) the ICC Test mace at Newlands on Saturday in Cape Town.(Cricket South Africa/ICC)

Captain Virat Kohli was presented the prestigious ICC Test Championship mace as India retained the top spot in the team rankings.

On behalf of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the mace was presented by Cricket Hall of Famers Sunil Gavaskar and Graeme Pollock at a ceremony in Cape Town at the conclusion of India’s tour of South Africa.

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India ensured the No.1 spot in the Test team rankings and a prize of $1 million after their victory in the Johannesburg Test against South Africa last month ensured that no team can move ahead of them by the April 3 cut-off date.

India won the mace for a second year running and have now been at the top of the rankings since October 2016. They have also been at the top two times before under Kohli – in January-February 2016 and in August 2016. India’s longest stint at the No.1 position was from November 2009 to August 2011, when MS Dhoni was the captain.

The other captains to have received the mace are Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (Australia), Andrew Strauss (England), Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla (South Africa) and Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan).

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“It’s truly a great feeling to hold the ICC Test Championship mace again, which is an acknowledgement of our success in the truest format of the game. We’re proud of the way we have performed in Test matches over the past couple of years and our performances have reflected in the rankings. The quality of a side is judged in the way players step up when needed, and that is what our boys have done time and again,” said Kohli.

“It is heartening to be at the top of the Test rankings in an era when it’s challenging to do consistently well across formats. But that is something that we have managed fairly well and something that I’d like my team to continue doing with their hard work and determination.”

India lost the first two Test matches against South Africa in Cape Town and Centurion but won the third and final one at Johannesburg.

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“I’d like to thank all players who have been part of our squads during this period and also the support staff for contributing to our success and for helping out in different aspects of the game. I’d also like to thank all our fans for supporting us across the globe.”

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 10:51 IST