IMAGE: India captain Virat Kohli poses with the ICC Test Championship mace.
India captain Virat Kohli was on Tuesday presented with the prestigious International Cricket Council’s Test Championship mace for leading his team to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings.
On behalf of the ICC, the mace was presented by former India captain and ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar at a ceremony following the conclusion of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Indore.
India was guaranteed number-one spot on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings after it took a 2-0 lead in Kolkata. Since the Test team rankings are only updated at the end of the series, India formally replaced Pakistan at the top of the table at the end of the Indore Test which it won by 321 runs.
“It’s an honour and a moment of great pride to receive the ICC Test Championship mace. To be recognised as the best in the traditional form of the game is as good as it gets for any team and stuff that dreams are made of,” Kohli said.
Kohli has become only the second India captain after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and 10th overall to receive the mace, even though it is for the third time since Kohli took over as captain that India has led the rankings table. India had topped the rankings very briefly in January-February this year as well as in August. India’s longest stint at the number-one position was from November 2009 to August 2011 under Dhoni.
The other captains to have received the mace are Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (all Australia), Andrew Strauss (England), Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla (both South Africa) and Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan).