Former English cricket captain Michael Vaughan has slammed the International Cricket Council’s rankings and questioned the Black Caps’ standing on them ahead of the Boxing Day test in Melbourne.
The Black Caps sit second on the ICC test rankings, three places ahead of Australia who dispatched them easily in Perth in the opening match of a three-test series earlier in the month.
Speaking ahead of the second test, which begins today at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Vaughan said the ICC rankings were “absolute garbage.”
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“I have no idea how – New Zealand have won plenty of series over the course of the last two years – but for them to be second, and where it stands out for me that the rankings can’t be right is that England in test match cricket are third, and England for three or four years have struggled in test match cricket, particularly overseas,” Vaughan told the Age.
“They have won series at home.
“(England) have only just drawn the Ashes in English conditions, they only just beat Ireland. I think the rankings are a little bit confusing.
“I certainly don’t, in my opinion, have New Zealand as the second best test match nation in the world. I think, particularly over here in Australia, Australia are a far better test match team.”
The Australians sit fifth on the traditional rankings but second on the new world test championship. India is atop of both tables.
The Black Caps have won eight of their past 10 series, including a 1-0 series defeat of England, and drew 1-1 in Sri Lanka, where Australia was crushed 3-0 three years ago.
However, Vaughan insisted India would be the only team to give Australia a test on home soil.
“I think there are two teams, India and Australia, they are the best test match teams in the world, without question. I think there is only one team that can come here and put Australia under pressure, that was 12 months ago, that they won here, India,” he said.
“There was no Smith, no Warner, no [Marnus] Labuschagne in the Australian ranks in that series, I think the series later on next year, when India arrive back here, hopefully everyone will be fit.
“That Indian attack has got the pace, it has also got the spin; the batting unit has got all the experience. I only see one team at this stage that can compete with Australia here and that is India.”