New Delhi: England strengthened its position as the top Test team after the annual update took place on Saturday as it leapt to 122 ratings points.
However South Africa can still claim the number one position when they clash in the series starting July 19 according to an ICC media release.
South Africa are currently third but if they win the series against England they will be at the top of the table in the rankings.
Should England on the other hand have a convincing series win, then South Africa go down to fourth position.
South Africa’s fall to third in the update is because annually the oldest results are no longer counted while at the same time England’s ranking has improved because their previous defeats are not counted in the latest update.
Australia will take some encouragement – after the recent 4-0 One-Day International series defeat in England – that their form in Tests has seen them rise back towards the summit they occupied at one point of time after falling to a low of fifth back in 2009.
India and Pakistan exchanged spots as Pakistan, despite a 1-0 defeat in the three-Test series which finished in Sri Lanka on Thursday, has moved up to fourth and M.S. Dhoni’s side, number one this time last year, now down in fifth place.
West Indies has fallen below New Zealand, who now go seventh. Zimbabwe have not played sufficient Test matches to be ranked in the table.
Reliance ICC Test Championship (as of 14 July, after the annual update and before the England v South Africa series)
Rank Team Rating (+/-)
1 England 122 (=)
2 Australia 116 (+1)
3 South Africa 113 (-1)
4 Pakistan 109 (+1)
5 India 104 (-1)
6 Sri Lanka 98 (=)
7 New Zealand 87 (+1)
8 West Indies 84 (-1)
9 Bangladesh 0 (=)