South Africa has strengthened its position as the number-one ranked Test side after the annual update of the Reliance ICC Test Championship Table. The Proteas have gained seven ratings points, lifting them to 135 ratings points – 19 ratings points clear of second-ranked India.

The annual update ensures that the Reliance ICC Test Championship Table continues to reflect recent form, with older results being discarded. At the recent ICC Board meeting, it was decided that the annual update to the Test, ODI and T20I rankings should now take place on 1 May each year, rather than 1 August, since this better aligns with the current international calendar.  This change has been incorporated in the latest update, and has been backdated to 1 May 2013.

The updated table now reflects all Test series completed after 1 August 2010. All series played until the start of May 2014 will be added to this table, so that by May 2014, the ratings will be based on just under four years of results, with series completed prior to 1 August 2012 weighted at 50 per cent and subsequent results valued at 100 per cent.

South Africa’s extended lead at the top of the table is due to its outstanding form in the Test arena, where it has not lost a Test match for 18 months and has not lost a Test series during the entire rankings period.  In 2012-2013 (the period in which results are weighted at 100 per cent), South Africa has remained unbeaten, defeating England 2-0, Australia 1-0, New Zealand 2-0 and Pakistan 3-0.

In the updated table, India has now moved into second place ahead of England. Despite England having won its last two Test series against India, it now finds itself below MS Dhoni’s side on account of its less consistent performances in other recent series, in particular against Pakistan (0-3), South Africa (0-2) and away to eighth ranked New Zealand (0-0). Also, India’s two 4-0 defeats in England and Australia in 2011-12 are now only weighted at 50 per cent, reducing their impact on India’s overall rating.

Opportunity for England to move to second place
Although England has dropped behind India into third spot, Alastair Cook’s team can reclaim the number two spot by winning the upcoming Ashes series, starting on 10 July in Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

England needs to win by a margin of 3-0 or better to move into second place. On the other hand, if Australia regains the Ashes it will move up a place to third, bumping England down one place to fourth.

 Result

England

Australia

 

Rating

Position

Rating

Position

 

England win by 5 Tests

119

2

98

6

England win by 4 Tests

117

2

99

5

England win by 3 Tests

116

2

101

5

England win by 2 Tests

115

3

102

5

England win by 1 Test

113

3

104

4

Series Drawn

111

3

107

4

Australia win by 1 Test

108

4

110

3

Australia win by 2 Tests

107

4

111

3

Australia win by 3 Tests

105

4

113

3

Australia win by 4 Tests

104

4

114

3

Australia win by 5 Tests

103

4

116

3

Reliance ICC Test Championship (as of 8 July, after the annual update and before the Ashes)

Rank (+/-) Team Rating (+/-)
1 (-) South Africa   135 (+7)
2 (+1) India         116 (+4)
3 (-1) England       112 (-3)
4 (-) Australia      105 (-5)
5 (-) Pakistan       102 (-2)
6 (+1) West Indies   99 (+7)
7 (-1) Sri Lanka     88 (-4)
8 (-) New Zealand    79 (-2)
9 (-)  Bangladesh    10 (+4)

Zimbabwe is currently unranked, as it has played insufficient matches. It has 183 points and a rating of 23.

 
 
 
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