Dubai: South Africa on Monday retained the top spot in the ICC Test rankings after beating Australia by a mammoth 309 runs in the third and final Test to clinch the series 1-0 in Perth.
South Africa's series victory means that they are the clear leader at the top of the table, leading second-ranked England by six ratings points. Australia are still at third position but have dropped to 114 after conceding three ratings points, the ICC said in a statement. However, Australia will move ahead of England if India win the remaining two Tests in Kolkata and Nagpur.
If India do win the next two Tests, they will win the series 3-1 and also jump ahead of England, by 0.01 point. If India win the series 3-1, then they will have 111.59 ratings points while England will have 111.58. In sharp contrast, if England win the remaining two Tests, then they will rise to 119 ratings points and India will drop to 103 ratings points. In case of a drawn series, England will drop two points while India will gain two points.
A total of USD 3.8m in prize money will be shared among the top four sides on April 1, 2013, 2014 and 2015, after the ICC Board approved a proposal earlier this year to substantially increase incentives to promote Test cricket in the period leading up to the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.
Previously, the top team in the rankings received a cheque for USD 175,000, but, from 2013, it will receive a minimum of USD 450,000, rising to USD 500,000 in 2015. From 2016 there will be further increase in Test prize money.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh have an outstanding opportunity to move ahead of the West Indies into seventh position on the ODI Championship table. After taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, Bangladesh are already guaranteed a place ahead of New Zealand in eighth position, but to move up one more place, they need to win the remaining three matches that will be played in Mirpur on 5, 7 and 8 December.