WEST Indies have made a significant move up the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test Match rankings, following the release of the latest rankings, on Thursday. West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and wicket-keeper batsman Joshua Da Silva were both elated to hear the news.
West Indies moved up two places to sixth place, leapfrogging South Africa and Sri Lanka. West Indies are on 84 points ahead of the Proteas on 80 and Sri Lanka on 78. India lead the rankings on 121 with New Zealand (120), England (109), Australia (108) and Pakistan (94) trailing.
On Thursday, a Cricket West Indies (CWI) media release, said, “The West Indies growth and progress is the result of the memorable 2-0 win away to Bangladesh and the hard-fought 0-0 draw in the Sandals Test Series at home against Sri Lanka (in 2021). It signals an overall rise for the team – last month it was announced they moved up one spot in the ICC One-Day International (ODI) rankings – following the 3-0 clean sweep over Sri Lanka in the CG Insurance ODI series.”
In a WhatsApp voice note to Newsday on Thursday, Da Silva said, “I was very happy when I saw the news this morning moving up two positions in the world rankings for Test cricket. The boys and the coaching staff have been really working hard and putting the effort in.”
Da Silva has been an integral player for the West Indies Test team since making his debut in December 2020. In five Test matches, the right-handed TT player has made contributions with the bat. He has an average of 37.63 which includes two half-centuries.
“We can’t thank each and every person who is involved enough for pushing us through, but it is only the beginning. There is a lot more to come from us. We not stopping now it is only the beginning of West Indies cricket moving forward, so hopefully, we are in the top four in the world (soon) and then keep pushing for higher rankings,” Da Silva said.
Brathwaite was full of praise for his players and support staff. He said this is the start of the climb towards higher rankings. The experienced opener spoke to CWI media on Thursday morning from Bristol in England where he is playing for Gloucestershire in the County Championship.
Brathwaite said, “I’m very proud of the team to jump two places in the Test rankings. I think this is just the beginning of good things to come. As a group, it shows that we can climb up the ladder and it’s just important for us to work hard and keep the belief and attitude to doing things right – in the preparation and the execution on the field. Once we continue to do the small things right and have the right attitude…because Test cricket is never easy…the sky is the limit.”
Jimmy Adams, CWI’s director of cricket told CWI media, “I am pleased to see the improvement from eighth to sixth in our Test ranking. This comes on the back of good cricket played earlier in the year against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.”
Adams commended all those involved in West Indies moving up the rankings.
“Firstly we should recognize the efforts of the players and support staff on the ground who have delivered results under pressure and secondly to the large number of people working tirelessly in the background to support them in the face of multiple challenges. We continue to work hard towards our strategic goal of top three rankings across all formats.”
Among the ICC MRF Tyres player rankings also unveiled, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder remains the number one Test all-rounder and is also our highest-ranked Test bowler at number eight. Kemar Roach is the next highest at number 12.
Following the Test Series against South Africa in June, West Indies will then face fifth-ranked Pakistan in a Test Series due to played in August 2021 as part of the next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. Those series will be played in the Caribbean.