Aussies suffer unwanted blow ahead of World Test Championship final

Pat Cummins' men have copped it after losing the Border-Gavaskar series.

Pat Cummins' men have lost the No.1 Test ranking to India ahead of the Test Championship next month. (Getty Images)
Pat Cummins' men have lost the No.1 Test ranking to India ahead of the Test Championship next month. (Getty Images)

Pat Cummins' men have copped a bitter blow ahead of the Test Championship final after India regained the cricket World No.1 ranking off Australia. The Aussies will face India at The Oval on 7 June, ahead of the Ashes, in a showdown between the two best teams in the world.

Australia previously held the No.1 ranking since January 2022 ahead of their visit to India for the Border-Gavaskar series, which ended 2-1 in favour of the hosts. Despite losing the first two matches in brutal fashion, Pat Cummins' men won the third match to set up a tense series finale.

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The match ended in a draw, which saw India retain the trophy and set up a tantalising final in the Test Championship in England. However, India's recent victory saw them take top spot leading into the showdown.

Under ICC rules, series played in the past three months are calculated into overall rankings points with matches in the previous 12 months given 50 per cent more weighting. This meant Australia's points from dominant home series victories in the last two years were dropped.

India now sit on 121 rankings points, five clear of Australia on 116. England have gone from 106 points to 114 in third, off the back of a dominant 12 months under new coach Brendon McCullum.

While Australia has dropped to No.2 in the world, they have the chance to regain the spot. If Australia win the final and retain the Ashes with a series win against England, they will regain the No.1 spot.

Pat Cummins' men remain No.1 in the world in one-day cricket, marginally ahead of New Zealand and India. Australia are sixth in Twenty20 cricket, with India well ahead in first.

Australia have continued their dominance of women's cricket with the world champions some 53 rankings points clear of nearest rivals England in one-day cricket. Meg Lanning's team are also still atop the T20 charts on 302 points compared to second-placed England's 282.

Pat Cummins and his teammates walk off the field.
Pat Cummins (pictured left) and his team have dropped to World No.2 ahead of the Test Championship final against India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India face injury concerns ahead of Test final

Australia recently welcomed the return of injured quick Josh Hazlewood to the Indian Premier League after nearly four months out. Hazlewood returned for Royal Challengers Bangalore and bowled three brilliant overs to take 2-15 and help Bangalore defend just 127.

While Australia currently carry a full squad into the final, India are facing an issue with their squad. Both batter KL Rahul and quick Jaydev Unadkat were sent for scans this week after injuring themselves for their franchise.

Unadkat was involved in a freak accident as he tripped over a wire while training at Lucknow's Ekana Sports Stadium. He now remains a doubt to play in the decider.

This is a worrying sign for India with Jasprit Bumrah not named in the squad having undergone back surgery. Unadkat was one of five bowlers named in the squad to face Australia, but Shardul Tahkur and Umesh Yadav also under slight injury clouds.

with AAP

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