Dubai, Mar 6: India have a chance to rise to number two in ICC Test Rankings if they win the series against Australia 4-0 and other series results go in their favour.
The battle for second place is a three-way race, with Australia, England and India having an opportunity to claim the spot in time for the cut-off date of April. These three sides are separated by 13 ratings points.
If England win the series against New Zealand by any margin, the second place is theirs. However, if New Zealand were to win the series against England by a margin of 1-0 or better, it could open the door for both Australia and India, an ICC media release said.
India could then claim the second spot if it were to win the remaining two Tests against Australia, but if Michael Clarke's side manages to level the series then it could displace England.
Apart from the ongoing India-Australia Test series, there are two more series scheduled to be held before the April 1 cut-off date, as the battle for slots in ICC Test Championship Table intensifies.
New Zealand host England from March 6 in a three-match series in Dunedin, while Bangladesh travels to Galle in Sri Lanka to take on the host in a two-Test series from 8 March.
South Africa have already sealed their position as the number-one ranked Test side at the April 1 cut-off date, which means it has not only retained the Test mace but has also been assured of a reward of US$450,000.
But a further US$750,000 is still up for grabs. This money will be distributed to teams that will finish second (US$350,000), third (US$250,000) and fourth (US$150,000) on the Championship table at the cut-off date.
The increased incentive in the form of prize money was approved by the ICC Board in 2012 and was aimed to promote Test cricket in the period before the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.
The Test Championship table is updated after every series, unlike the ODI or T20I Championship tables, which are updated after every match.
Rank Team Points
1. South Africa 128
2. England 118
3. Australia 117
4. India 105
5. Pakistan 104
6. Sri Lanka 92
7. West Indies 91
8. New Zealand 78
9. Bangladesh 0