India remained the number one Test side after the annual update of the ICC team rankings, released on Thursday. 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.
The latest update rates all matches played since May 2020 at 100 per cent and those of the previous two years at 50 per cent. England (109 rating) have climbed a place to third at the expense of Australia (108 rating), down to fourth now. England's jump came after their 0-4 defeat to Australia in 2017-18 was dropped from the rankings.
Pakistan (94) have gained three points but remained at fifth spot, while West Indies (84), who beat Bangladesh 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Sri Lanka in series played this year, have jumped two places to sixth, their best position since 2013. South Africa (80) and Sri Lanka (78) have dropped a rung each to seventh and eighth positions respectively, followed by Bangladesh (46), who have lost five points and Zimbabwe (35), who gained eight points.
The Proteas, thus, have equalled their lowest in Test ranking history. India and New Zealand will square off in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton's Ageas Bowl from June 18 to 22.