After ceaseless calculations of permutations after the cricket team’s victory in the final Test match against England in the Oval, Pakistan has definitively and officially risen to the number one spot in Test cricket for the first time since the modern ranking method was introduced. The rise is all the more spectacular considering two years ago - in August 2014 - they had been in sixth place.

It required a fortuitous combination of circumstances to make that happen – such as the washed out final Test in the Caribbean – but no one is denying the sheer, grit, determination and skill shown by the Pakistani squad to get there. As such the whole team, the coaching and backroom staff, as well as the management of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) deserve a round of applause and thorough commendations.

Praise is pouring in from all sections of the cricketing community on the calm and collected leadership of Misbah-ul-Haq, under which the team has not only rebuilt, but seems in a position to challenge the strongest test squads out there. The skipper has found support in a band of committed test players such as Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Yasir Shah, who have gone to make the format their own.

However, the skipper keeps his eyes on the horizon – as should the rest of the management – when he says, “for us, the number-one ranking is not a destination but part of a journey”. This tour was marked by an increase in discipline, fitness and a palatable sense of unity, something that must be carried forward and improved upon. The team is a promising mixture of young talent and experience, but it is not the finished product yet.

Pakistan’s next tours are to Australia and New Zealand; which provide a stern test for any would-be champions. More so than winning the number-one spot, keeping it through these tough tests will be a true measure of their pedigree.