South Africa’s status as the number-one ranked Test side on the Reliance ICC Test Championship Table will be at stake when it plays Australia in a three-match series in Brisbane starting on Friday 9 November 2012.

South Africa reclaimed the Reliance ICC Test Championship Mace earlier this August after it defeated the then number-one ranked England 2-0.

For South Africa to retain the number-one spot, it just needs to draw the series, while Australia can return to the top of the tree for the first time in three years if it wins the series irrespective of the margin.

South Africa currently heads the table with 120 ratings points, with England in second spot on 117 ratings points and Australia at number-three position on 116 ratings points.

The final position for the losing side in the Australia-South Africa series would be determined by the result in the India-England series that starts from 15 November.

To find out exactly how the Australia-South Africa series will affect the Championship table, please click here. The Test Championship table is updated after every series, unlike the ODI or T20I Championship tables, which are updated after every match.

Prize Money
Both Australia and South Africa have an opportunity to not just make a strong start to the season but also stake a claim to be the number-one ranked team at the 1 April 2013 cut-off date.

This would mean either side could be in line for the increased prize money on offer for the top-ranked side on the cut-off date.

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.

Captains Confident
Australia’s knowledge of the conditions and its strong track record at home means the side cannot be discounted in the battle for the number-one rank.

Australia captain Michael Clarke is excited about leading the side in the battle of the number-one. “We are excited to be playing in a series in Australia against the number one ranked Test team in the world,” he said.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith is banking on the self-confidence within the team to retain the Reliance ICC Test Championship Mace.

“Touring Australia is always tough and the battle for number-one probably makes it an even more anticipated series. We need to play good cricket if we are going to retain our number-one Test ranking. We have the self-confidence of knowing that we have the players that can step up when needed, especially after beating England away from home.

“We have earned the right to come here as the number-one Test team after the way we have played over the past few years, and there is a humble inner strength within the squad about facing up to the challenge that is on its way in the next month. A series like this is what Test cricket is all about and playing for the Mace is ultimately what all Test playing nations strive for,” added Smith..

Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings
South Africa appears to have the edge, at least in terms of having players among the top 10 in both batting and bowling of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings. It has as many as four batsmen – Hashim Amla (second), Jacques Kallis (fourth), AB de Villiers (fifth) and skipper Graeme Smith (seventh) – while Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander hold the top two bowlers’ spots, followed by Morne Morkel in ninth position.

Amla trails number-one ranked batsman Kumar Sangakkara by just 23 ratings points. A good series with the bat will provide the number-one ranked ODI batsman with an opportunity to lay claim to the number-one Test rank for the first time in his career.

In contrast, Australia’s only batsman in the top 10 is skipper Michael Clarke in sixth spot, while Mike Hussey and former captain Ricky Ponting are just inside the top 20 in 16th and 20th positions, respectively.

South Africa has three bowlers inside the top 10, with Philander trailing Steyn by just 29 ratings points, while Australia’s Ben Hilfenhaus (sixth) and Peter Siddle (seventh) will also be in action and hoping to make upward movements.

South Africa’s talismanic cricketer Jacques Kallis has an opportunity to take the number-one spot in the all-rounders’ table. Kallis, with 390 ratings points, trails number-one ranked Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh by 14 ratings points.

Australia v South Africa series schedule
9-13 Nov – 1st Test, Brisbane
22 -26 Nov – 2nd Test, Adelaide
30 Nov -4 Dec – 3rd Test, Perth

Reliance ICC Test Championship

Rank    Team               Rating

1          South Africa    120

2          England           117

3          Australia          116

4          Pakistan           109

5          India                106

6          Sri Lanka           98

7          West Indies        90

8          New Zealand     76

9          Bangladesh          0

(Developed by David Kendix)


Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings


Rank       Player                  Team     Pts            Ave       HS Rating

1           K Sangakkara        SL           892         56.73     938 v Eng at Kandy 2007

2           Hashim Amla        SA           869         49.95     872 v Eng at The Oval 2012

3            S.Chanderpaul      WI          829         50.20     901 v NZ at Napier 2008

4            Jacques Kallis       SA           822         56.94     935 v NZ at Centurion 2007

5           AB de Villiers        SA           806         48.85     821 v Eng at The Oval 2012

6           Michael Clarke      Aus         771         48.77     855 v Eng at Headingley 2009

7           Graeme Smith      SA           767         49.78     843 v Eng at Johannesburg 2010

8            Younus Khan       Pak         761         51.69     880 v SL at Lahore 2009

9            Azhar Ali               Pak         753         45.27     753 v SL at Pallekele 2012

10          Kevin Pietersen    Eng         746         49.48     909 v WI at Headingley 2007

11          S Tendulkar          Ind          736         55.31     898 v Zim at Nagpur 2002

12        Alastair Cook       Eng         731         47.84     836 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011

13=       Misbah-ul-Haq    Pak         720         45.68     771 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

T Samaraweera   SL           720         51.29     775 v SA at Cape Town 2012

15          Jonathan Trott     Eng         719         50.49     856 v SL at Cardiff 2011

16          Mike Hussey        Aus         705         50.07     921 v WI at Kingston 2008

17        Ian Bell                  Eng         704        46.83     822 v Ind at The Oval 2011

18=        M Jayawardena   SL           693        50.43     883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009

Ross Taylor          NZ          693        41.69     775 v Pak at Wellington 2009

20         Ricky Ponting       Aus         691        52.75     942 v Eng at Adelaide 2006



Rank      Player               Team       Pts          Ave        HS Rating

1           Dale Steyn            SA           881         23.50     902 v SL at Centurion 2011

2           Vernon Philander SA           852*!    15.96     852 v Eng at Lord’s 2012

3           Saeed Ajmal         Pak         832         27.09     836 v SL at Galle 2012

4           Rangana Herath  SL           782 !      31.72     782 v Pak at Pallekele 2012

5          James Anderson  Eng         761         30.39     813 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011

6            Ben Hilfenhaus    Aus         756*      28.03     757 v WI at Port-of-Spain 2012

7           Peter Siddle           Aus         740         29.27     768 v Ind at Adelaide 2012

8           Stuart Broad         Eng         727         31.02     783 v WI at Lord’s 2012

9           Morne Morkel      SA           724         30.36     776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

10          Kemar Roach       WI          712*!    27.69     712 v NZ at Kingston 2012

11         Abdur Rehman    Pak         704*      28.40     739 v Eng at Dubai 2012

12          Graeme Swann    Eng         683         29.58     858 v Pak at Lord’s 2010

13        Shakib Al Hasan Ban        678*      31.33     680 v WI at Mirpur 2011

14         Zaheer Khan        Ind          676         31.95     752 v SA at Durban 2010

15         Pragyan Ojha       Ind          624*!    32.92     624 v NZ at Hyderabad 2012

16         Chris Martin         NZ          622         33.97     669 v SA at Hamilton 2012

17          Steven Finn           Eng         621*!    28.15     621 v SA at Lord’s 2012

18          Ryan Harris          Aus         587*      23.63     614 v WI at Bridgetown 2012

19         Umar Gul              Pak         584         33.66     642 v Eng at Dubai 2012

20          Daniel Vettori       NZ          582         34.42     681 v Aus at Auckland 2000



Rank      Player               Team        Pts           HS Rating

1           S Al Hasan            Ban        404/*!  404 v Pak at Mirpur 2011

2          Jacques Kallis       SA           390        616 v Pak at Durban 2002

3          Shane Watson      Aus         334/*   394 v SA at Johannesburg 2011

4          Stuart Broad         Eng         318        382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012

5           Daniel Vettori       NZ          314        412 v Pak at Napier 2009


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