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August 14, 2007
India's 1-0 series victory in England has propelled them to third place in the ICC Test Championship.
They jumped up two places after their first away series victory against England in 21 years while the home side managed to hold on to their spot at No. 2. However, had India won at The Oval then the two countries would have been tied at the same number of points, with England retaining their second place by decimal places.
England dropped four points after losing their first home Test series since the 2001 Ashes. The loss has only widened the gap between the top-two sides in the world, with Australia way ahead with 141 points.
Zaheer Khan earned his career-best ranking of No. 10 with a series haul of 18 wickets, also bagging the Man-of-the-Series award for India. For the first time since 1993, no Indian batsman features among the top-ten rankings for Test batsmen. Rahul Dravid, after aggregating 126 runs in three Tests, has slipped two places to No. 11. Monty Panesar has slipped nine places to 15th, after a disappointing series in which he managed eight wickets.
Sharad Pawar, the president of the Indian board, commended the team's performance and announced a bonus of Rs 1 crore (approx US$250,000) to all team members and the coaching staff.
"I would like to congratulate the Indian contingent for their excellent teamwork and performance against England in the Test series", Pawar said. "I am sure every Indian will feel proud of our players who have won a series in England after a gap of 21 years.
"They have played some spectacular cricket and practically everyone has contributed, from new comers to seniors. I want to specially mention the support role played by Chandu Borde, the cricket manager, and Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh, the bowling and fielding coaches. I am sure a similar performance will be shown in the one-day series to be played."
However, Pawar also used the opportunity to request fans to behave in a responsible manner, especially when it came to defeats. Supporters responded rather negatively to India's early exit from the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year.
"It is a game of ups and downs. So, if they don't perform we should not get angry with them," he said. "It is our responsibility to encourage and support them and boost their morale."
ICC Test Championship
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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