Dubai, Mar 14: The battle for second place on the ICC Test Championship Table is still a three-way race between England, Australia and India. This is despite the fact that England were held to a draw by New Zealand in Dunedin and India lead Australia 2-0 in the four-Test series.
The three sides are currently separated by 13 ratings points on the Championship table which will be updated at the conclusion of India-Australia and New Zealand-England Test series on 26 March and will also reflect results from West Indies-Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka-Bangladesh series.
England's hard-fought draw means it still needs to win the series against New Zealand to seal second place. However, if New Zealand draws or wins the series against England, it could potentially the door for both Australia and India.
If New Zealand win or draw the series, then India will claim the second spot if they win the remaining two Tests against Australia. On the other side of the coin, if New Zealand win or draw the series and Michael Clarke's side bounces back to level the series then Australia will move ahead of England in second spot, ICC said in a media release on Wednesday (March 13).
South Africa has already sealed its position as the number-one ranked Test side at the 1 April 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.