India’s 58-day long tour of South Africa will culminate on Saturday (February 24) and to make the occasion more beautiful for the visitors, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will present the ICC Test Championship Mace to India skipper Virat Kohli at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
"On behalf of the ICC, Cricket Hall of Famers Sunil Gavaskar of India and Graeme Pollock of South Africa will make the presentation immediately after the awards ceremony for the T20I series", the ICC wrote in a statement.
The outcome of India’s three-match Test series against South Africa didn’t have any effect on the visitors Test rankings as they continue to remain the numero uno team in the longest format of cricket. In fact, such was India’s strength in the Test rankings that they would have stayed at the pinnacle even if they had lost the series 3-nil. However, their historic 63-run victory in the third Test at Wanderers ensured that no team move ahead of them in the Test rankings at the 3 April cut-off date.
While Virat Kohli and company had entered into the series with 124 rating points, the Proteas were placed at the second spot with 111 points. However, India’s 2-1 series loss meant they return on 124 points whereas South Africa gain 4 points to narrow down the gap with the No.1 Test side.
In 2016, Kohli had become the 10th captain since 2002 to get his hands on the Test mace. The Indian captain had received the mace from Sunil Gavaskar after their Indore Test victory against New Zealand.
If South Africa would have won the Test series 3-0, then a win by 2-0 or better against Australia would have helped them retain the mace for the first time since 2015. India have won a prize of $ 1 million after their victory in the Johannesburg Test and now South Africa will have to win at least one Test against Australia to retain second place in the rankings, which, in turn, will earn them $500,000.
The much-anticipated four-match Test series between South Africa and Australia will commence on March 1 in Durban.