Aussies close in on top ranking
WELLINGTON — Australia’s aim of regaining the top ranking in test cricket has taken a major step forward following Monday’s comprehensive victory over New Zealand in the opener of their two-match series, according to captain Steve Smith.
Australia thumped the hosts by an innings and 52 runs at the Basin Reserve shortly after lunch on the fourth day to put themselves in prime position to usurp India at the head of the ICC test rankings.
The triumph means Smith’s side can afford to draw the second test starting in Christchurch on February 20 as any series victory, whether it be by a 1-0 or 2-0 margin, will take Australia past India.
“We want to be number one in the world in all three formats and I think this test match is a step in the right direction,” Smith told reporters. “I said when I took over as captain that I wanted to win every series away from home.
“It’s great to be one-nil up in the series against New Zealand and hopefully we can take a step up in Christchurch.” — Reuters