India have retained their second position in the ICC Test team rankings following a draw in the second and final Test on Tuesday against New Zealand, which won the series 1-0.
A two-Test series loss has resulted in India slipping from 117 ratings points to 112, which means that they are ahead of Australia by just one rating point.
The Aussies now have a great opportunity of finishing ahead of India on the table before the April 1 cut-off date.
Australia are currently leading South Africa 1-0 in the three-Test series, and they need minimum of a draw in the series to move ahead of India. But if South Africa bounce back and win the next two Tests, then they will not only retain their pre-series rating of 133 ratings points, but Australia will also remain behind India on 110 ratings points, thereby handing Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side second position at cut-off date.
South Africa are already guaranteed the number-one position at cut-off date, and will retain the mace and will also collect a cheque of USD 450,000. The side that finishes second will pocket USD 350,000, while USD 250,000 will go to the third-ranked team.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have gained five ratings points following their win over India. They have joined the West Indies on 87 ratings points. However, they are ranked above the West Indies when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.