South Africa beat Aussies to retain No.1 Test position
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 clinch the series 1-0 in Perth.
South Africa's series victory means that it is the clear leader at the top of the table, leading second-ranked England by six ratings points.
Australia is still in third position but has dropped to 114 after conceding three ratings points, the ICC said in a statement.
However, Australia will move ahead of England if India wins the remaining two Tests in Kolkata and Nagpur.
If India does win the next two Tests, it will win the series 3-1 and also jump ahead of England, by 0.01 point. If India wins the series 3-1, then it will have 111.59 ratings points while England will have 111.58.
In sharp contrast, if England wins the remaining two Tests, then it 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 has 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 is already guaranteed a place ahead of New Zealand in eighth position, but, to move up one more place, it needs to win the remaining three matches that will be played in Mirpur on 5, 7 and 8 December.
(PHOTO: South Africa's Du Plessis congratulates Australia's Ponting as he leaves the WACA in Perth. Reuters)