Indian captain Virat Kohi on Tuesday received the Test mace and $1 million for topping the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test rankings at the April 1, 2017 cut-off date after they beat Australia in the fourth and final five-day game.
With the eight-wicket win, India brought the Border-Gavaskar Trophy back home which Australia had taken from them with a series victory last year Down Under.
“We are absolutely delighted to have topped the ICC Test rankings,” said Kohli. “The longest format of the game really tests a team’s character and I’m proud that we have proved ourselves to be the best.”
The 28-year-old said that receiving the mace never loses its magic. “Being presented with the Test championship mace last year was an exhilarating experience and the feeling is no different this time.”
The Indian skipper then congratulated and thanked everyone who was part of the process. “I’d like to both congratulate and thank everyone who has been part of this success,” he said. “This includes not only all the players who have been in the squad but also the team management and support staff, without whom we could not have done so well. It has not been an easy journey but all the hard work has been worth it.”
He then continued: “We have maintained our position with some really good cricket in recent months. The team has shown the tenacity to bounce back from difficult situations.”
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar also felicitated the Indian team on their achievement. “Congratulations to the Indian team for its superb performances in Test cricket,” he said. “Being at the top in this format is no mean achievement and proves that the players have been doing well on a consistent basis.”
Meanwhile, the second and third teams, who will receives $500,000, the third $200,000 respectively, will be decided after the end of the third New Zealand-South Africa Test. The Proteas need to draw the Test in order to finish ahead of Australia on the second position.
The team ending at the fourth position after the cut-off date will receive $100,000.