Australia reached the top spot in the Test and T20 rankings after the International Cricket Council released its annual update earlier today. This is the first time Australia have reached the pinnacle of the list in T20Is, and the first time in 4 years have the men in green and gold attained the top spot in Test Cricket.
Australia jumped to the top of the Test standings ahead of New Zealand and India, with just two points separating the top three teams. It’s just the second time since the rankings were introduced in 2003 that the top three teams have been separated by such a small margin.
Upon being asked about the updates in the rankings, Australian coach and former opening batsman Justin Langer had the following to say.
“We recognise how fluid these rankings are, but at this time it was certainly nice to put a smile on our faces. We’ve got lots of work to do to get to be the team that we want to be, but hopefully over the last couple of years not only have we performed well on the field, but also off the field.”
“Certainly a goal for us has been the World Test Championship, but ultimately, we have to beat India in India and we’ve got to beat them when they come back. You can only judge yourself as being the best if you beat the best and we’ve got some really tough opposition to come. Getting to No.1 is a great thing, but when you’re No.1, you’re always the hunted. We’ve been the hunters for a while, now we’re the hunted and we need to get better and better.”
Australia got off to a shaky start after Langer took over as coach in 2018, winning just one of their first six Tests. After a 0-1 series loss to Pakistan in the UAE, Australia hosted India in the summer of 2018/19 and lost the series 1-2. The two series losses saw them drop to fifth in the world, but since then, they have only lost two of their past 12 matches and followed their retention of the Ashes last year with five wins from five in the 2019-20 Test summer.
As for individual achievements, at the moment, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins are sitting atop of the ICC Test batsman and bowler’s rankings.
Langer then went on to talk about Australia’s rise in the ranks of T20I Cricket, expressing his desire of being able to eat Australia lift their maiden T20 World Cup title. He said, “I know how hard it is to win World Cups, everything has to go right. One day, I’d love to see Aaron Finch with all his mates lift that T20 World Cup above his head.”
The Aussies, captained by Aaron Finch, have won nine of their last 10 completed T20Is, and are in a good position to win a T20 World Cup for the very first time. They have toppled Pakistan to reach the top of the T20 rankings.