Opening batsman Chris Rogers is uncertain Australia deserves to be ranked world No. 1 in Tests, saying the team’s 4-0 drubbing by India was not the mark of a top team.
Australia were promoted to the pinnacle for the first time in nearly five years on Thursday, when the ranking system dropped results from the 2010-2011 season from its calculations.
While hailed by most local media, Australia’s promotion without a ball being bowled has raised eyebrows, coming only weeks after South Africa were awarded a US$475,000 check by the International Cricket Council for finishing the season on top.
Rogers suggested he was also unconvinced.
“I don’t know, personally,” Rogers said on Cricket Australia’s Web site. “Obviously, there’s still some unfinished business. Losing four-nil in India — you can’t do that if you’re No. 1 — but I think to beat South Africa in South Africa meant a lot.”
“They were No. 1 and to go beat them in their place; I think that is a big achievement. I think we’re going in the right direction and we just need to keep playing well,” he added.
Australia lost 4-0 in India last year before being beaten 3-0 in England, but turned it around to thrash England 5-0 in the return Ashes series on home soil.
They finished the season strongly with a hard-fought 2-1 series win away to the Proteas.
Ironically, South Africa can reclaim the top ranking with Test wins against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe before Australia have a chance to defend it in a series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October.
“Australia is No.1 again not so much because it beat South Africa a few moments ago, but because previous adverse results... no longer count,” Australian cricket writer Greg Baum wrote in Melbourne’s the Age newspaper yesterday.
“It is the fishing fleet who stayed out and won the premiership... Good on Australia, for now. But as much as this vindicates Australia, it betrays the shallowness of world cricket,” Baum added.