India on Thursday retained their number one status in Test cricket after the thrilling victory over South Africa in Kolkata, which also entitles them to USD 175,000 given to the team that tops the chart at the annual cut-off date.
With this victory, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men also ended Australia’s seven-year run of finishing on top spot at the annual cut-off date.
Consequentially, India will retain the ICC Championships mace which they won after beating Sri Lanka 2-0 in the home series in December last year, besides pocketing the USD 175,000 prize money which is presented to the side that reaches the April 1 cut-off date in top spot.
India was in serious danger of losing its top spot after South Africa won the Nagpur Test last week and then bad weather yesterday allowed only 31 overs of play on the penultimate day of the second Test.
However, Harbhajan Singh took 5/59 and Amit Mishra bagged 3/78 as South Africa was bowled out for 290 despite a fighting 123 not out by Hashim Amla, his second century of the Test.
The 1-1 series result means that the pre-series status-quo in terms of positions on the table is maintained though India (124) lost one rating point while South Africa has stayed second on 120 points. Australia (116) are third in the ICC Test chart, followed by Sri Lanka (115) and England (107).