When MS Dhoni stepped down as test captain and Virat Kohli took on the leadership role, his goal was very simple and that was to be the number one test team in the world. Just a little over a year has passed since Kohli became test captain and that goal has now been achieved after South Africa was dethroned from their number one ranking after losing a home series to England.
India gaining the number one ranking is due to a combination of them playing well under Kohli’s captaincy and South Africa playing poorly under Amla’s captaincy. India won an away series against Sri Lanka in 2015 and then came back home and destroyed South Africa giving them a great year in 2015.
South Africa on the other hand lost 0-2 to Pakistan against the UAE, went to India and lost 0-3 and now conceded another series victory to England on home soil. The South African team has been in disarray due to injuries to spearhead Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander while the retirements of former captain Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis meant that the Proteas played with a very inexperienced side.
Graeme Smith now doing commentary expressed his disappointment over the poor form of the Proteas. In a statement, Smith said “Some of the decision-making around the space looks a bit worrisome for me. The team seems a bit flat. Some of the messages coming out in the press conferences don’t seem positive and it’s coming from senior players. You’re are in a big series and there is a lot of negativity among your senior players. It looks like someone needs to grab the bull by the horns and say, ‘listen guys, let’s wake up and let’s pull our finger out and let’s go and play some test cricket.”
However credit must go to Virat Kohli who has been aggressive with his captaincy and his batting and adopted a strategy of be prepared to lose in order to win and the results are showing. India may not be the number one test team for very long as Australia travel to New Zealand in February to play two tests and if they manage to win 1-0, they will go to the top of the table.
India will not play any test cricket in the near future as they are currently in Australia in the middle of an ODI series and scheduled to play a 3 match T20 series before coming back home and preparing for the T20 World Cup.