No 1 India receive their bounty

No 1 India receive their bounty
 India wrapped up a 2-1 victory over Australia and retained the ICC Test Championship mace. Along with it, the team also won a cash award of $1 million for ensuring the top position in the rankings on the annual April 1st cut-off date.

Captain Virat Kohli received the mace and cheque from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar at a ceremony after the fourth and final Test against Australia in Dharamsala, in which Ajinkya Rahane led the side.

India had entered the series against Australia needing to win at least one Test to reclaim the mace, which it had reclaimed following the Indore Test against New Zealand in October 2016.
The second and third places in the rankings will be decided after the ongoing Hamilton Test between South Africa and New Zealand. If South Africa win or draw the Test, it will be assured of second place but a loss will see Australia finish ahead of it in second place.

The side to finish second will get $500,000 while the side finishing third will receive $200,000. The fourth-placed team, which is England, will get $100,000.

India had taken the World No.1 ranking during their win in the West Indies tour last year, but it lasted briefly. But now Kohli said he could afford to celebrate the occasion.

“It had happened in a flash and we were just one point away from Pakistan at the second spot. That’s why I wasn’t too excited about it because it was a short term thing.

“But now I can sit down and be proud of what the guys have been able to achieve since then and different aspects have come up – lower-order contributions, spinners have been outstanding throughout, fast bowlers have been brilliant, the batsmen have stepped up on many occasions. Different people. Not just one or two guys, but everyone has contributed throughout the season. If you don’t have a team performance, you can’t be the No. 1 team in the world,” Kohli said.

“If you want to win more Test games, you have to have complete team performances. It’s the main reason why we are sitting here as the No. 1 team in the world and we have quite a fair distance above the other teams. That makes me very proud as a captain and all the guys in the change room are very happy with what they have been able to achieve and ending the season on a high.”

Meanwhile, India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin received the Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016 from Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar respectively.

During the voting period, which ran from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016, the 30-year-old from Chennai played eight Tests in which he took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs. Ashwin also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20Is.

Ashwin had finished 2015 as the number-one ranked Test bowler in the world, a position he twice reclaimed in 2016.

BCCI bonanza

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday congratulated the Indian team for retaining the No. 1 position in Test team rankings and registering unbeaten series wins in the home season 2016-17.

The Test team members were awarded Rs 50 lakh, the head coach Rs 25 lakh and support staff Rs 15 lakh. The cash rewards will be given on a pro rata basis.

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