India end the year as No.1 Test side

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Indian cricket on Sunday touched an unprecedented high as MS Dhoni's men became the number one Test side for the first time.

Updated: December 06, 2009 11:54 IST
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Indian cricket on Sunday touched an unprecedented high as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men became the number one Test side for the first time, dislodging South Africa in the ICC Rankings issued here on Sunday.

The innings and 24-run win over Sri Lanka in the third Test in Mumbai gave India a 2-0 series triumph and five rating points from the rubber, taking their overall tally to 124.

India is only the third team after Australia and South Africa to go atop the ladder since the Test Championship was introduced in May 2001, the ICC said in a statement.

India had started the series in third spot on 119 ratings points, three less than South Africa.

The 2-0 series win also means India will finish 2009 as the number-one ranked side after starting the year in third place behind Australia and South Africa.

Although Australia's ongoing series against the West Indies will conclude before the year ends, even a 3-0 clean sweep by Ricky Ponting's men will not be enough for them to challenge India's top spot.

South Africa, who had topped the Test rankings in August after Australia lost the Ashes to England, will have an opportunity to regain the position when they go head to head with England in a four-Test series starting later this month.

A series win by 2-0 or better will give Graeme Smith's side back its number-one spot but that scenario will arise only in January next year. .

While the 2-0 success has put India on top of the world, the defeat has dropped Sri Lanka from second place to fourth spot in the Test Championship table which is only updated at the end of a series.

ICC Test Championship table: 1. India (124), 2. South Africa (122), 3. Australia (116), 4. Sri Lanka (115), 5.

England (105), 6. Pakistan (84), 7. New Zealand (80), 8. West Indies (76), 9. Bangladesh (13).

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