Australia overtake India to win Test Championship mace

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Dubai, Feb.24 (ANI): Australia have regained the prestigious ICC Test Mace and have also won a cash award of one million dollars after winning the Christchurch Test by seven wickets, which gave them a 2-0 series win against New Zealand.

The result means Australia have finished two points ahead of India on 112 points in the final series before the 1 April cut-off date. Steve Smith will receive the Mace and the cash award on behalf of his team in a ceremony to be held at a later date.

This is the eighth time Australia have finished as the number-one ranked Test side at the annual cut-off date since the inception of the current rankings system in 2003.

They had earlier topped the table each year from 2003 to 2009, before India claimed number-one spots in 2010 and 2011. England ended as the number-one ranked side in 2012 before South Africa completed a hat-trick by retaining the top spot from 2013 to 2015.

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India, by virtue of finishing second, will collect $500K, while South Africa will pocket $200K and Pakistan $100K after claiming third and fourth positions, respectively.

It is a double delight for Smith’s men who had earlier topped the ICC ODI Team Rankings at the annual cut-off date. It had finished comfortably ahead of second-placed New Zealand, followed by India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England.

On the ICC T20I Team Rankings, India leads the field with South Africa occupying second position following its 2-0 win over England. The two are followed by the West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, England and Australia.

A shuffling of the pack is on the cards as a lot of cricket in the shortest format of the game is still to be played before the 1 April cut-off date. (ANI)

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