Dubai:Though they lost their four-Test series to Australia, India on Monday climbed to the second spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Championship table.
India started the series in fourth place, just behind South Africa and Sri Lanka, but South Africa's 2-1 series win over eighth-placed West Indies this month relegated them to fourth position and put Sri Lanka second, a fraction of a ratings point ahead of India in third spot.
Following their historic 72-run win in the third Test in Perth and the drawn match in Adelaide Monday, India have moved ahead of Sri Lanka and now occupy second place with 111 rating points, two ahead of their south Asia rivals and three in front of the Proteas.
Australia, who started the series on 143 ratings points, are still the top team despite losing two ratings points during the series. Ricky Ponting's side won in Melbourne by 337 runs and in Sydney by 122 runs before the Perth defeat.
With just four ratings points separating second-placed India from fifth-placed England and plenty of Test cricket to be played over the next few months, reshuffling of the positions in the Test Championship table is on cards.
South Africa will soon tour Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will visit the West Indies. Whatever may be the outcome of those two-Test series, India will retain their second place on the table.
However, England will be the team that will get the first opportunity to take a shot at Anil Kumble's side and can jump from fifth to second if it clean sweeps the three-Test series against New Zealand.
South Africa will get their opportunity to reclaim the lost place when they tour India in March for a three-Test series. However, if India win that series, they will widen the gap between it and both Sri Lanka and South Africa.
South Africa are to tour England in the English summer for a four-Test series.
ICC Test Championship table:
1 Australia 141 points
2 India 111
3 Sri Lanka 109
4 South Africa 108
5 England 107
6 Pakistan 94
7 New Zealand 93
8 West Indies 73
9 Bangladesh 2