England’s first Test series win in India since 1984-85 has helped it to consolidate its number-two position on the Reliance ICC Test Championship table. 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.

The series loss has kept India 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 traditional rival Pakistan.

England’s series win also means that Australia cannot move into second position on the Test Championship Table.

If India had won in Nagpur, Australia could have leapfrogged England into second position by winning all three Tests against Sri Lanka.

Australia can now only retain its third place and can earn a maximum of three ratings points if it wins all three of its 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