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Mar 13, 2013 at 07:49pm IST

Race for 2nd Test spot heats up as Pujara breaks into top-10

Dubai: India are locked in a tight three-way contest with Australia and England for the second position in the ICC Test Championship table while batting sensation Cheteshwar Pujara has, for the first time, broken into the top-10 of the Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

The three sides are currently separated by 13 ratings points on the Championship table which will be updated at the conclusion of India-Australia and New Zealand-England Test series on March 26 and will also reflect results from West Indies-Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka-Bangladesh series.

England's hard-fought draw means they still need to win the series against New Zealand to seal second place. However, if New Zealand draw or win the series against England, it could potentially open the door for both Australia and India.

Race for 2nd Test spot heats up as Pujara breaks into top-10

Pujara has broken into the top-10 for the first time in his Test career.

If New Zealand win or draw the series, then India will claim the second spot if they win the remaining two Tests against Australia. There is more: if New Zealand win or draw the series and Michael Clarke's side bounces back to level the series, then Australia will move ahead of England in second spot.

South Africa have already sealed their position as the number-one ranked Test side at the April 1 cut-off date, which means they have not only retained the Test mace but have also been assured of a reward of USD 450,000.

But a further USD 750,000 is still up for grabs. This money will be distributed to teams that will finish second (USD 350,000), third (USD 250,000) and fourth (USD 150,000) on the Championship table at the cut-off date.

Meanwhile, India's man-of-the-moment, Pujara has made his foray into the top-10 of the batting chart with 740 rating points. Pujara, 25, scored his second Test double-century (204) to claim the Man-of-the-Match award after the completion of the second Test against Australia and has moved a rung to be No 10. Of the other Indians, Sachin Tendulkar is static at 19th position in the ranking chart.

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