New Delhi: A day after India captain Virat Kohli was presented with the ICC Test Championship mace, former South Africa captain Graeme Smith suggested that the Test ranking should be based on away results.
Smith's comment sure points towards India's obvious lack of overseas win. But former Indian batsman and now a pundit, Akash Chopra seconded the suggestion, and added his bit by saying, "considering this era of home dominance".
India reclaimed the number one spot after thrashing New Zealand 3-0 in a three-match series at home. The mace was with neighbors Pakistan.
With the rankings so tight, maybe the number 1 ranking should be based on the best away record? https://t.co/zm9CKXjqo3
— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) October 12, 2016
@GraemeSmith49 Something worth pondering over....considering this era of home dominance.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 12, 2016
And with home series against England, Bangladesh and Australia coming up before the end of the season, Virat Kohli & Co can hope to keep the mace in India for a long time.
But the talking point which continues to dominate Test cricket is the home advantage. India's back-to-back home series win against South Africa and New Zealand have been attributed to spinners, in this case Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
The same can be said about other teams too. All the teams now struggle outside their homes. But irrespective of the team strength, India won series in West Indies, and before that in Sri Lanka.
All-in-all, Smith's suggestion seemed a weighted one, and the ICC may well find it hard to ignore it.
As for now, the fight for number one position will only get intense with India hosting fourth-ranked England, South Africa playing third-ranked Australia Down Under and second-ranked Pakistan hosting West Indies in the United Arab Emirates.
England will play Bangladesh in a two-Test series before coming to India.
These fixtures will take place in the run-up to the annual cut-off date on April 1. The side that will top the ICC Test Team Rankings on April 1 will also receive a cash award of USD 1 million, while the second placed side will collect USD 500,000 and the third and fourth sides will get USD 200,000 and USD 100,000, respectively.