History created on Sunday, the 6th December 2009, in Mumbai at the Brabourne StadiumIndia become world number one in ICC test ranking.
The Brabourne Stadium immersed with emotions, the Indians converged in a heap after the fall of the last Sri Lankan wicket. It was a historic moment for Indian cricket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men had moved to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings.
The International Cricket Council on Sunday hailed India's rise as the number one Test team in the world and said it augurs well for the longer version of the game.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said India thoroughly deserves the new status and it's good news for Test cricket
"It was a dream come true. But what we actually do is to try and play every game well and ratings take care of themselves. It was a constant process for the last 18 months. Whatever Test cricket we have played we have played really well. I think it's a team effort," Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after his team swamped Sri Lanka by an innings in the third Test to win the series 2-0 and become the world's best Test team.
With this win India Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Sunday became the second captain in the 132-year history of Test cricket not to have lost a Test match in his first 10 games. Dhoni has won seven out of his first ten and is second behind Warwick Armstrong, who led Australia in ten Tests, winning eight.
After conceding a mammoth 333-run first innings lead, the visitors were struggling at 274 for six at close on the penultimate day which was marked by Sangakkara's resilient unbeaten 133 under immense pressure.
The Lankans are still trailing by 59 runs at the end of the day and will have to bat out of their skins to achieve the near-impossible task of saving the game on a last-day Brabourne track which was expected to assist the bowlers.
The Indians, on the other hand, will look to wrap up the remaining four wickets quickly on Sunday and clinch the three-match Test series with a 2-0 margin.
Sangakkara and Nuwan Kulasekara (9) were at the crease at stumps on an absorbing fourth day's play which saw a keen contest between the bat and the ball.
The Sri Lankan captain Sangakkara notched up his 21st Test century, his maiden one in India, to anchor the innings brilliantly but none of the other top order batsmen could stitch a substantial partnership with him to save the visitors.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Rs 25 lakh (approximately US $ 52,100 at the current exchange rate) for each member of the Indian cricket team after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men became the world number one Test side beating Sri Lanka.
The Board President Shashank Manohar announced at the BCCI awards function that each support staff and selection committee members will get Rs. 10 lakh
The 2-0 series triumph after India won the final Test by an innings and 24 runs here on Sunday, took the side beyond South Africa as the top-ranked team.
A goodly crowd roared in appreciation and the Sri Lankans, in a gesture that was sporting, walked up to congratulate the Indian team.
Since the Test championship was introduced in 2001, India is only the third country, Australia and South Africa being the others, to reach the acme.
India's rise in Tests is a reward for consistent and often winning cricket, both at home and abroad. A strong top-seven in batting and the emergence of an incisive pace attack to complement the spinners has made India a worthy side outside the sub-continent. Team India, a fine blend of experience and youth, has fired collectively.
Starting the series in third place with 119 points, India now has 124. South Africa, remaining on 122, has dropped to the second spot. Sri Lanka, which began the series as No. 2, has slumped to the fourth position with 115 points.
Aggressive opener Virender Sehwag was adjudged Man of the Match and Player of the Series. He whipped up 491 runs in three Tests at a whopping average of 122.75.
Spearheaded by crafty left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, India needed only 7.4 overs on Sunday to claim the last four wickets. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 309 in its second innings.
Operating with exemplary control, Zaheer finished with five for 72; this was the paceman's eighth five-wicket haul in Tests.
Crucially, he dismissed Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara (137) with a mean delivery that pitched on off-stump and left the southpaw late in the day's first over. Zaheer's ability to deviate the ball away from the left-hander from over-the-wicket is high on skill.
Soon, Rangana Herath found the ball climbing on to him quicker than expected as he attempted a pull off Zaheer. Ojha held a smart catch at mid-wicket, diving forward.
Zaheer then switched to round-the-wicket and hustled Nuwan Kulasekara with a short-pitched ball around his off-stump; the Sri Lankan was snaffled up in the cordon.
And Muttiah Muralitharan nicked off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to Dhoni.
Muralitharan batted despite injuring two ligaments of his bowling fingers and is a doubtful starter for the two-match Twenty20 series.
Little went right for Sri Lanka after it had the better of the exchanges in the first Test. It is said that the islanders were at the receiving end of at least four faulty umpiring decisions in the final Test. Sangakkara has renewed calls for the Umpire Decision Review System to be implemented in all Test series.
However, India's two successive innings victories strongly indicate it was the superior side in the series. The top seven Indian batsmen averaged 50 plus. And when M. Vijay replaced in-form opener Gautam Gambhir in the last Test, he came up with a polished innings of 87.
The Sri Lankan front-line batsmen could not make an impact at crucial moments. Mahela Jayawardene notched up 373 runs at 74.60, but 275 of those runs were from a single innings in the drawn Ahmedabad Test.
Sangakkara scored 241 runs at 48.20 but failed to make an impression until his valiant 137 in the second innings here; by this point the series had been decided. Thilan Samaraweera had an ordinary series with 151 runs at 37.75. The intrepid Tillakaratne Dilshan – 248 runs at 49.60 - blitzed hundreds in the first and the third Tests but was desperately unlucky with umpiring decisions in both the innings here.
And the Sri Lankan spinners struggled against fleet-footed Indian batsmen. Muralitharan ended up with nine wickets at 65.66 and Ajantha Mendis' two strikes at Kanpur – his lone Test of the series – came at 81.00. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath bowled well in phases for his 11 wickets at 48.81 but struck chiefly in the latter stages of the innings.
Comeback paceman S. Sreesanth's five for 75 in the Sri Lankan first innings at Kanpur opened up the Test series for India. Then Zaheer Khan impressed in Mumbai. The Indian pace attack made a difference.
At the end of it all, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman rejoiced with the younger bunch. It was a compelling sight.