Cricket: India pip Blackcaps for $1m world test crown

Indian Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket
Indian Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of NZ counterpart Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Photosport

India have beaten out the Blackcaps to finish atop of the world test-cricket rankings, taking home the purse of US$1 million (NZ$1.47m) for a third consecutive year.

India, who registered their first series victory in Australia at the turn of the year, finished with 116 points on the April 1 cut-off date, eight points ahead of New Zealand, who finished second and took home US$500,000.

South Africa finished third with 105 points, while Australia finished with 104 points to finish fourth, a few decimal points ahead of England.

"Retaining the ICC test championship once again is something we are all really proud of," said India captain Virat Kohli, who won the ICC's cricketer, test and one-day international player-of-the-year awards in January.

"Our team has been doing well across formats, but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the test rankings. We all know of the importance of test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format."

The International Cricket Council world test championship begins in August, after the 50-over World Cup in England, with nine test-playing nations taking part in 71 matches spread across 27 series to reach the final in 2021.

ICC Test Team Rankings (as of April 1)

1. India 116 points

2. New Zealand 108

3. South Africa 105

4. Australia 104

5. England 104

6. Sri Lanka 93

7. Pakistan 88

8. West Indies 77

9. Bangladesh 69

10. Zimbabwe 13