New Delhi: England's first Test series win in India since 1984-85 has not only helped it to consolidate its number-two position on the Reliance ICC Test Championship table but also means that Australia cannot jump ahead even if they beat Sri Lanka 3-0. England won the four-match series 2-1 after drawing the final Test in Nagpur on Monday.
England's series victory has earned it one ratings point, which has lifted it to 118, reducing the gap with number-one ranked South Africa to five ratings points, an ICC media release said on Monday.
Despite the series loss India remains in fifth place but is now on 105 ratings points after dropping one ratings point. This has opened up a four-point gap with fourth-ranked arch-rivals Pakistan.
If India had won in Nagpur, Australia could have leapfrogged England into second position by winning all three Tests against Sri Lanka. A 3-0 series win will put Australia just one ratings points behind England at 117.
With only 18 points separating the top five sides and a little over four months remaining to the 1 April cut-off date, the race to the top hots up when South Africa hosts both New Zealand and Pakistan, Australia travels to India, and England tours New Zealand.
A total of US $3.8m in prize money will be shared among the top four sides on 1 April 2013, 2014 and 2015, after the ICC Board approved a proposal earlier this year to substantially increase incentives in the form of prize money to promote Test cricket in the period leading up to the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.
Previously, the top team in the Reliance ICC Test rankings received a cheque for $175,000, but, from 2013, it will receive a minimum of $450,000, rising to $500,000 in 2015. From 2016 there will be further increases in Test prize money.
The Reliance ICC Test player rankings will be updated on Wednesday, 19 December.
Reliance ICC Test Championship table (after the conclusion of India-England Test series)
Rank Team Points
1. South Africa 123
2. England 118
3. Australia 114
4. Pakistan 109
5. India 105
6. Sri Lanka 96
7. West Indies 91
8. New Zealand 79
9. Bangladesh 0