Australia's fall from first to fifth

A look at the major areas where the recent champions have slipped over the last three years.

updated: October 15, 2010 10:20 IST
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It's almost surreal, but according to the latest ICC rankings, Australia are the fifth-best Test team in the world. It was always expected that they would struggle a bit after the retirement of their stalwarts, but the swiftness with which they've plummeted down the rankings has been a bit of surprise, especially since they won just about everything till the end of 2007. Admittedly Australia's standards have fallen since those lofty days, but is fifth position a true reflection of how good they are? Here's a look at their results summary over the last three years, and a comparison with what they achieved between 2005 and 2007.

The first stat that jumps out is the number of Tests they've lost since 2008: against the top eight teams (excluding Bangladesh), Australia have won 17 Tests and been beaten 11 times, which is more than the number of defeats they'd endured in the previous eight years (2000 to 2007). The 2-0 defeat to India was the first whitewash they'd suffered in a series since 1982, when they lost to Pakistan, and they've also lost three Tests in a row for the first time in almost 22 years.

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