New Zealand cricket team continues to get better in test cricket as they leapfrogged rivals Australia in the rankings on January 6. The Kiwis clinched a comfortable win against Pakistan in the second test to achieve this feat. It has been a remarkable return to test cricket for New Zealand after the pandemic as they cruised to a home series win against West Indies and Pakistan in the last two months.
The Kiwis have become unplayable in home conditions as they last lost a test game way back in 2017. The current team boasts a remarkable pace bowling trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner. The emergence of Kyle Jamieson in the last few test series has added more edge to the bowling unit.
In the batting department, the Black Caps have the number one test batsman in the world. Kane Williamson is playing the best cricket of his career, piling up runs in testing conditions. Williamson has recently scored double hundreds against Pakistan and West Indies. His consistent performances helped him to leapfrog Virat Kohli and Steven Smith in the Test rankings.
New Zealand remains third in the World Test Championship standings. Australia and India currently have more points and a higher percentile value. However, the Kiwis will move up in the table if the upcoming two test matches between India and Australia go in their favour. They will need Australia to win both games, piling pressure on India to win all four test matches at home against England to qualify for the final.
Nevertheless, it is a deserving achievement for Kiwis to get the number one spot in the ICC rankings. They have thoroughly played some of the best test cricket in the last couple of years. The next challenge for Williamson and his team will be to emulate similar performances away from home.