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Ups and Downs: India's Test Ranking Through the Ages

chasingthedon

International Regular
Cricket Web - Features: Ups and Downs: The Test Ranking of India Through the Ages

India's recent crowning as number one Test-playing nation had some people discussing whether or not they've ever been number one before - was it when Gavaskar was also the best in the world, or maybe when Kapil Dev was thrilling the fans? CW's Dave Wilson has applied the ICC rating system retrospectively and these ratings can be used to answer just such a question.
 

jeevan

International 12th Man
If India was ranked #1 in 96-97 (and even 80-81 for that matter), all that does is call the ranking system into question. Those, unlike the present one, would be far less defensible.
 

Black_Warrior

Cricketer Of The Year
I dont think India was ever THE best team in the world or even in the top 2..and I am not talking from a statistical perspective here. It is only in this decade that India started winning test series consistently, test matches overseas.
 

bagapath

International Captain
I dont think India was ever THE best team in the world or even in the top 2..and I am not talking from a statistical perspective here. It is only in this decade that India started winning test series consistently, test matches overseas.
they had a very good shout for the top slot in 70-71 when they beat west indies and england away from home.
 

chasingthedon

International Regular
they had a very good shout for the top slot in 70-71 when they beat west indies and england away from home.
And their next series was a 2-1 win over England which would lift them top, which of course was at home.

The main criticism of the rankings seems to be that it doesn't differentiate between home and away performance, which is not taken into account in the ICC ratings system and probably should be, given the vast differences in playing surfaces. Actually it might be interesting to re-rate them with an extra point awarded for an away series win.
 

bagapath

International Captain
well.. i guesss that is what the article shows i guess when it says india was the no.1 test team in 72... really dont know the relative strengths of all international teams that time well enough to comment on whether it is right or not... from what little i know it doesnt sound way off the mark...
 

Dissector

International Debutant
80-81 was purely a result of the Packer series and doesn't reflect badly on the ranking system per se. 72-73 isn't ridiculous because India had beaten a fairly strong England team at home and way and also beaten West Indies away. Obviously basing a no.1 ranking on just 3 series is dubious but relatively little cricket was played in those days.

Today's no. 1 ranking is on much more solid foundations since India has played a lot of series against pretty much every test country away and home. Even in the series it has lost in Australia and South Africa it has been very competitive. I thought they just about deserved the ranking when they got it after beating Sri Lanka. South Africa's recent debacle strengthens their claim substantially. It may not last for long but at the beginning of of this decade I think we can genuinely claim that India is the best team in test cricket.
 
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chasingthedon

International Regular
Just re-ran the numbers with an extra point awarded for an away series win. With that adjustment India didn't make #1 in 1980-81 or 96-97, but was still #1 in the early 70s and of course now.
 

bagapath

International Captain
Just re-ran the numbers with an extra point awarded for an away series win. With that adjustment India didn't make #1 in 1980-81 or 96-97, but was still #1 in the early 70s and of course now.
sounds right. windies/ aus in 80-81 and aus/pak in 96-97 should be closer to the top than other teams. india coming on top in 72 and now is fair enough.
 

wpdavid

International Coach
80-81 was purely a result of the Packer series and doesn't reflect badly on the ranking system per se. 72-73 isn't ridiculous because India had beaten a fairly strong England team at home and way and also beaten West Indies away. Obviously basing a no.1 ranking on just 3 series is dubious but relatively little cricket was played in those days.

Today's no. 1 ranking is on much more solid foundations since India has played a lot of series against pretty much every test country away and home. Even in the series it has lost in Australia and South Africa it has been very competitive. I thought they just about deserved the ranking when they got it after beating Sri Lanka. South Africa's recent debacle strengthens their claim substantially. It may not last for long but at the beginning of of this decade I think we can genuinely claim that India is the best team in test cricket.
I'd agree with all of that. Whilst their number 1 ranking in the very early 1970's owes much to Aus and WI being transitional, they did achieve those wins in England and WI, and it would be churlish not to give them credit for them, As has already been said, results in the late 1970's may as well be ignored due to Packer's intervention. The fact that England were officially (albeit retrospectively) number 1 in 1979 says it all really.

btw isn't there a website that shows all countries positions since test cricket began?
 

chasingthedon

International Regular
I'd agree with all of that. Whilst their number 1 ranking in the very early 1970's owes much to Aus and WI being transitional, they did achieve those wins in England and WI, and it would be churlish not to give them credit for them, As has already been said, results in the late 1970's may as well be ignored due to Packer's intervention. The fact that England were officially (albeit retrospectively) number 1 in 1979 says it all really.

btw isn't there a website that shows all countries positions since test cricket began?
You might be thinking of my original article on howstat - I'm fairly sure I'm the only one to apply the rankings retrospectively
 

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