Proteas move past Australia to No 2 in Tests

The Proteas have finished second on the ICC Test team rankings at the April 1 cut-off date, following their drawn Test against New Zealand in Hamilton.

The result, which gave South Africa a 1-0 series win, earned Faf du Plessis’s side two ranking points and helped them move one point ahead of Australia into second place.

In contrast, New Zealand dropped two rankings points and consequently slipped behind Pakistan into sixth place.

As New Zealand v South Africa series was the last series to finish before the April 1 annual cut-off, with South Africa’s earning them an award of $500 000 (R6.5m), while Australia collected $200 000 (R2.6m).. England, who ended up fourth, received $100 000 (R1.3m).

On Tuesday, India had retained the mace and pocketed $1m (R13m) following their 2-1 series win over Australia. It was India’s fifth successive series win in the 12-month period from April 1, 2016, following successes against the West Indies (2-0), New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0) and Bangladesh (1-0).

South Africa, in the same 12-month period, defeated New Zealand (1-0, both home and away), Australia (2-1) and Sri Lanka (3-0), while Australia lost to Sri Lanka (3-0), South Africa (2-1) and India (2-1) with their only series win being against Pakistan (3-0).

Fourth-ranked England beat Sri Lanka (2-0), drew with Pakistan (2-2) and Bangladesh (1-1), and lost to India (4-0).

Following last year’s cut-off, Australia had started in the No 1 position on 112 points, followed by India (110), South Africa (109), Pakistan (106), England (102), New Zealand (96), Sri Lanka (89), West Indies (76), Bangladesh (47) and Zimbabwe (five).

The annual update of the ICC Test team rankings will next be carried out on May 1 with the series results from 2013-14 not to be included in the calculations and outcomes from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 series weighted at 50 percent.

ICC Test team rankings (as 29 March 29, following the conclusion of India v Australia and New Zealand v South Africa series):

1. India 122 (+1) points
2. South Africa 109 (+2)
3. Australia 108 (-1)
4. England 101
5. Pakistan 97
6. New Zealand 96 (-2)
7. Sri Lanka 90
8. West Indies 69
9. Bangladesh 66
10 Zimbabwe 5