Well cricinfo news say that Ian Chappel doesn't rate India as a long term number 1 keeping in t=his mind the fact that India at present doesn't have the necessary resources to retain the claimed status for long. Agreed that India have to rely upon someone like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for most of the matches especially against strong nations. And, the fact the Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman are not among top run scorers in today's test cricket like they were some four years ago. Added to that is the fact that there is no leading bowler after the exit of Anil Kumble.
No one on earth, (let alone Ian Chappel and Sanjay Manjarekar) rates India in par with either Australia under Steve Waugh or the West Indies team of the 70s and 80s. But, the million dollar question is who has the zest in them to boast of being a long term number 1 team. It was Australia yet again after winning the lost glory when they regained the test series against the Proteas on the return tour early last year when they beat South Africa 2-1. Since then, Australia have been the number one team in test cricket until India took over after their 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka.
Despite being on the top spot, Australia lost the Ashes 2-1 in July-August last year. Despite coming close to winning on two occasions, Ponting's men lost out on that opportunity. However, that never ceased their top spot in test cricket. But, after they lost their top spot to India, even 2 series wins against West Indies and Pakistan could not see them topping the rankings. And, to win the Sydney test from the position they were in at one stage, really needs a tough competition and it could not have been any other team but Australia to have achieved that.
The third team that would hit the list would be South Africa but still who lack consistency which showed in the three tests they played against England. Teams like the West Indies and Bangladesh have to be kept out of discussion. And there is little scope for Pakistan who could not win even a single series since 2009 after spending 2008 without playing a single test. They must consider themselves lucky for the position they hold in today's test cricket. And the only team that is left is NZ which can win only at home and against weak oppositions. Still, they could not beat India in the 3 match test series earlier last year and had to share the honors with Pakistan 1-1.