Australia have returned to first position in the International Cricket Council’s rankings for Test teams. They have also assumed top spot in the ICC rankings for T20I teams for the first time. England, meanwhile, are still atop the ICC’s rankings for ODI teams.
Australia collected Test series victories over Pakistan and New Zealand relatively recently. They had drawn the 2019 Ashes series with England two-all. An eventual Test series in India will genuinely Test them.
“I said in my first conference as coach we will know we are a great team if we can beat India in India and that is certainly a great goal for us. We know they are so tough to beat so only then will we really know we can claim the number one spot. The last time we played India here they beat us for the first time in Australia so we will be determined to beat them when they come back,” said head coach Justin Langer.
Bad news for Khawaja and Stoinis
Batsman Usman Khawaja and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, meanwhile, have not been offered new contracts by Cricket Australia. The South African-born Marnus Labuschagne, though, has been included in the new list of centrally-contracted players. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh and batsman Matthew Wade have also been rewarded.
“We feel all deserve their inclusion recognising the performances of those players in the past 12 months and, as importantly, what they can offer in the next 12 months,” said selection chairman Trevor Hohns.
“Marnus’ rise has been meteoric and well documented, Joe Burns has been a good Test-match player, Ashton Agar’s form in T20 internationals has been exceptional, while Kane Richardson has been outstanding in the 20-over and one-day games.
“Matthew’s summer showed he is not only a tough but a good Test player for us. His form extended into white-ball cricket late in the summer, earning him well deserved call-ups to the one-day and T20 Australia squads.
“After missing the list last year, Marsh’s recent form showed he has a lot of international cricket ahead of him as a batting all-rounder. Mitch proved this with his man-of-the-match performance against New Zealand at the SCG in the last game Australia played and a five-wicket haul in the last Test match he played on the Ashes tour.”
Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.