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Pick one from four


2008 has been a dismal year on most counts, but it has produced something for cricket that has been absent for at least 15 years now. A fight for the number 1 spot....with no less than four teams vying for it. Fantastic!
Both India and South Africa have beaten Australia now, but South Africa has done it away, and they have been unbeaten for 9 series' now, unlike India. A full length India v South Africa series, which is some time away may decide where these teams stand, but the build up to that is exciting, and equations could change by then.
South Africa still have a three Test series at home against the Aussies in Feb, and India have to play New Zealand away which has been a bit of a bogey series for them for a while now.
Either way, both teams will now realize how difficult it was for Aussies to maintain the position over a decade. And I am sure both of them know the pain of being the second best. South Africa knows it only too well.
However to rock their ships further there is Sri Lanka, who have the best spin-partnership in ages with Muralitharan and Mendis. They will push the teams above them to perform better and may well overtake them.They have already beaten India.
And you obviously can't leave the Aussies out, who are still No.1. They have a history of looking to overcome the pain of losing by thrashing everything in sight.
So get ready for a clash of four titans: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia. Each team has its own demons to fight, SA have to keep their great pace battery up and consistent without injuries, India have to show consistency, Lanka have to do well abroad and Australia have to look to their new guard to climb up to the elevated platforms set by their predecessors.
Makes one consider if a test championship will, in fact, be a better idea than the FTP at this point of time.

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