INDORE: Skipper Virat Kohli was on Tuesday presented with the ICC Test Championship mace as India were officially crowned the number one side after their 3-0 thrashing of New Zealand.
India, who had reclaimed the top spot in the world Test rankings after taking an unassailable 2-0 series lead in Kolkata, won the third and final Test by 321 runs Tuesday to consolidate their position.
Batting legend and ICC Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar presented Kohli with the mace on behalf of the International Cricket Council at Indore’s Holkar Stadium.
Kohli was only the second India captain after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the 10th overall to receive the mace since its introduction in 2001.
The others are Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (Australia), Andrew Strauss (England), Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla (South Africa) and Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan).
India are now four points in the ratings above arch-rivals Pakistan, who enjoyed the top spot only briefly after Misbah received the mace last month in Lahore.
“I’ve got a few Man of the Match awards, so have the boys. This is much more special. The last time India got the mace, I was watching on TV,” said a delighted Kohli.
“The key right now is maintaining our game. We’re working really hard on the areas needing improvement and we’ve been able to correct the wrongs quickly and we’d like to continue that and give the people what they want to see.”
India had replaced Australia at the top of the rankings after their series win against the West Indies in August, only to be leapfrogged by Pakistan later.
“The number-one ranking has changed hands three times in as many months, indicative of the current competitiveness of Test cricket,” ICC chief executive Dave Richardson was quoted as saying in a release.