You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Australia on top

ABC News logo ABC News 30/04/2014
a © Ryan Pierse/Getty Images a

Australia has returned to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time in almost five years.

After an emphatic 5-0 drubbing of England (now third) in the home Ashes series and a tightly contested 2-1 scoreline in the three-Test series in South Africa (second), Australia sits on top of both the Test and one-day international ladders.

Throughout all the plaudits received during the two successful series, Australia captain Michael Clarke consistently said his main goal was to see the team return to the number-one spot and was ecstatic with the rankings released.

"I think it's just reward for the hard work we've put in over the past two years," Clarke told Cricket Australia's website.

Due to the rankings' four-year cycle, points accrued before August 2011 are wiped from the slate.

That means the disastrous tour of India (fifth) in February/March of 2011 and the forgettable 3-1 loss in the 2010/11 Ashes series no longer count.

"This team has certainly been through some tough times," Clarke said.

"There's memories stuck in my head from the criticism we copped after the Indian tour when we lost 4-0 and we were named the worst team to ever tour India.

"When things like that are said about the team as a player you take it personally, but I can guarantee you as captain it breaks your heart so that's always tough to hear.

"But through tours like that and the tough times, it's allowed the players to become so strong a group and to work exceptionally hard to get this result.

"For me, as captain, number one was my goal. I said from day one - I think we were third or fourth when I took over from Ricky - and then I know we got to fifth after losing in India."

South Africa drops points for a 1-1 series against India and for a 2-0 series win in the West Indies (eighth).

Australia has not sat atop the Test standings since August 2009, when Ricky Ponting was captain, Simon Katich and Shane Watson were the opening partnership, Marcus North was batting at number six, and Stuart Clark was still a member of the pace attack.

Clarke's team also tops the ODI rankings, while George Bailey's Twenty20 side sits sixth in the world.

The Southern Stars are ranked second in Tests but hold top spot in ODIs and T20s, the latter secured by a third successive World T20 victory in Bangladesh.

ICC Test rankings

1. Australia
2. South Africa
3. England
4. Pakistan
5. India
6. New Zealand
7. Sri Lanka
8. West Indies
9. Zimbabwe
10. Bangladesh

More From ABC News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon