India retained the ICC Test Championship Mace courtesy of finishing above New Zealand on the points table on the cut-off date of April. India, led by their flamboyant skipper Virat Kohli won the purse of one million dollars for a third year running. Kohli expressed his happiness on retaining the honour and said it would put India in a good place during the ICC World Test Championship and his side is looking forward for the inaugural edition of the tournament.
"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."
ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney congratulated the Indian team while reiterating the importance of Test cricket and looking forward to the start of the ICC World Test Championship later this year.
"I congratulate India on retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace and appreciate the passion Virat Kohli's team has shown across formats over the past few years. It takes so much dedication and determination to consistently perform at the highest level in Test cricket," Sawhney said.
A top place finish was never in doubt for India, New Zealand's consistent performances over the past year saw them climb from third position, needing to only avoid losing the home series against Bangladesh last month to finish at the same position.
The Kane Williamson-led side, which also had the satisfaction of seeing their captain get the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for 2018, earned 500,000 dollar after finishing with 108 points, eight behind India.
(With IANS inputs)