Sport Cricket Australia back on top of the world

Australia back on top of the world

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Australia’s stunning Ashes win and series defeat of South Africa has seen it reclaim the No.1 Test cricket ranking for the first time in five years.

With Australia also still the top rated one day international side, it can claim to be the top cricketing nation in the world.

The official team rankings were released on Thursday by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

It is the first time since December 2008 that Australia has been ranked No.1 in Tests and ODIs at the same time.

Australia last held the top Test ranking in August 2009, when it was displaced after losing the Ashes series 2-1 to England.

South Africa had held the No.1 position since August 2012 but in the latest table, Australia gained eight ratings points to move up from 115 to 123.

That was equal to South Africa, who dropped from 127 to be level on 123, but Australia moved ahead by a fraction of a point.

With the 2010-11 defeats dropped from ranking calculations – a period in which Australia lost to India and England, and the 2012-13 series defeat to India having half its weighting, Michael Clarke’s side was able to make its move.

Clarke was delighted with the turnaround in Australia’s fortunes.

“We are incredibly proud to be the number-one ranked team in the world in both Test and ODI cricket, which are two of the team’s most important goals,” he said.

“There has been an enormous amount of hard work and effort on and off the field that has led to this result.

“However, the true test of a great side is sustained success and now our goal is to maintain these rankings and continue to play great cricket as we lead into challenging Test series against Pakistan and India, and the ICC Cricket World Cup at home.

After losing last year’s Ashes series in England 3-0, following a tumultuous period in which coach Mickey Arthur was sacked, Australian cricket has gone from strength to strength.

While replacement Darren Lehmann endured that tough campaign he quickly turned things around with Australia sweeping their return series against England 5-0 during the last summer.

His side then scored an impressive 2-1 away series win over South Africa.

The only anomaly for the side remains the Twenty20 format where Australia failed to make it out of the group stages at this year’s World Cup in Bangladesh and is ranked sixth in the world.

In Test format England moved up one place to third while the Australians edge India, then Sri Lanka in the ODI rankings.