Team India has retained its number one spot in the ICC Test rankings as per the annual update released by the International Cricket Council on May 18 (Thursday). The Virat Kohli-led side, that sealed the number one spot after the 2-1 win over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series earlier this year,  are in pole position with 123 rating points followed by South Africa and Australia with 117 and 100 points respectively.

India enjoyed a highly successful 2016-17 home season win New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh (1-0) and Australia. The successful home season was preceded by series wins at home against South Africa (3-0) and away wins over Sri Lanka (2-1) and the West Indies (2-0).

Meanwhile, the latest released rankings have seen the deficit between India and South Africa getting reduced to only 6 points instead of the 13 points gap that was there before the release. And the reason behind this is that the ICC’s annual update now sees series results from the 2013-14 season as no longer included in the rankings formula, while outcomes from 2015-16 series are now weighted at 50 per cent in the points calculation.

As a result, India has gained just a solitary point while South Africa have closed down the gap to just six points by gaining seven points. On the other hand, Australia, England and Pakistan have dropped points in the annual update.

The team from Down Under has retained its third place but has plummeted from 108 points to 100 points followed by England, who have conceded two points and are sitting at fourth position with 99 points. Pakistan, meanwhile, has dropped to sixth place after losing four points to sit on 93 points.

New Zealand, Bangladesh and the West Indies have gained one, three and five points respectively. New Zealand (97) are placed fifth on the table while the West Indies (75) and Bangladesh (69)  are placed eighth and ninth respectively. Zimbabwe (0) are languishing at the tenth position after losing five points.

    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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