Australia’s 245-runs victory in the third and final Test in Cape Town against number-one ranked South Africa has not only helped it win the series 2-1, but has also allowed it to finish in second position on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table at the 1 April cut-off date.

The victory in Cape Town also means Australia, which had entered the series in third position on 111 ratings points, has gained four ratings points to finish on 115 – three ratings points ahead of India.

This, in turn, means Australia has won a cash award of US$370,000 while India will have to settle with US$265,000. England will receive US$160,000 for finishing fourth.

South Africa, thanks to its commanding lead at the top of the table, retains the mace in spite of dropping to 127 ratings points and will also get richer by the top prize of US$475,000.

At the January 2012 meeting, the ICC Board had approved a proposal to substantially increase incentives in the form of prize money to promote Test cricket.

In 2015, the total prize money will be increased to US$1.34 million, which will be distributed to the teams that finish in the top four at the 1 April 2015 cut-off date. The number-one ranked side will receive US$500,000, followed by US$390,000, US$280,000 and US$170,000 to the sides that will finish second, third and fourth, respectively.

The Cape Town Test was the final Test before the 1 April cut-off date as focus will now shift to the shortest format of the game with England-West Indies and South Africa-Australia playing a total of six T20Is between them from 9 to 14 March.

These matches will serve as final preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, which will take place from 16 March to 6 April. The West Indies men’s and Australia women’s sides will defend the titles in the event that will take place in Chittagong, Mirpur and Sylhet.

The first confirmed Test series after the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 is between England and Sri Lanka in England. The two-Test series will start on 12 June.

To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Rankings Table, please click here. The Test Ranking Table, unlike the ODI and T20I Rankings tables, are updated after every series.

Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 5 March, after South Africa v Australia series)

Rank    (+/-)      Team                          Rating      (+/-)

1            (-)        South Africa                127             (-6)

2            (+1)      Australia                     115             (+4)

3             (-1)      India                           112

4                         England                      107

5                         Pakistan                      100

6                         Sri Lanka                      89

7                         New Zealand                 87

8                         West Indies                   87

9                          Zimbabwe                    34

10                        Bangladesh                  19

(Developed by David Kendix)

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