New Zealand become No. 1 Test team after series sweep against Pakistan

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Kane Williamson’s side is only behind Australia and India on the World Test Championship table

New Zealand are only behind Australia and India on the World Test Championship table  

New Zealand have toppled Australia from the No. 1 position in the ICC Test rankings, getting to 118 rating points as against Australia’s 116 after winning the second and final Test against Pakistan by an innings and 176 runs in Christchurch on Wednesday, which gave them a 2-0 series win. India (114), England (106) and South Africa (96) round off the top five.

New Zealand had pulled ahead of Australia after winning the first Test against Pakistan, by 101 runs in Mount Maunganui, but had to wait to start the celebrations of becoming the seventh team to get to the top of the rankings, because the ICC updates the tables only at the conclusion of each series.

Kane Williamson, meanwhile, consolidated his top spot in the list of Test batsmen, getting to 890 points after yet another sterling performance – a Player-of-the-Match-award-winning innings of 238 in the win in Christchurch. That kept him ahead of Virat Kohli (879), Steven Smith (877) and Marnus Labuschagne (850), the only other batsmen to be above 800 at this point. Williamson has now hit 251, 129, 21 and 238 in his last three Tests.

The 2-0 series win over Pakistan also mean New Zealand move upwards in the World Test Championship table. They now have 420 points, more than India’s 390 and Australia’s 322, but are behind them on PCT (percentage) points: Australia are No. 1 with 0.767, followed by India on 0.722, and New Zealand are third with 0.70.

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