India retained ICC Test championship mace for the third consecutive year finishing above New Zealand on points table as of April 2019. India has 116 points while the second placed New Zealand has 108 points. India won the one million dollars prize for the third consecutive time since 2017.
A top place finish was never in doubt for India, captained by Virat Kohli, the number one Test batsman in the world while New Zealand’s consistent performances over the past year saw them climb from third position, needing them to only avoid losing the home series against Bangladesh last month to finish at the same position.
The Kane Williamson-led side, who also had the satisfaction of seeing their captain get the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for 2018, earnt $ 500,000 after finishing with 108 points, eight behind India.
South Africa, who had finished second the previous two times, will now get a prize money of $200,000 for finishing third with 105 points while Australia who edged out Engalnd on decimal points at 104 points bag $100,000.
"I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year." – Virat Kohli on India's retention of the ICC Test Championship mace.— ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019
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After winning the mace Indian skipper Virat Kohli said, “Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. 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.”
“Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year. That is again something we are really looking forward to as it adds more context to Test match cricket,” Virat added.
In recent past, India have proved that they are a force to reckon with in Test cricket. Since 2009, India have held the championship mace for 52 cumulative months. Australia is at number one with 83 cumulative months since 2003.