Dubai, July 8: South Africa have strengthened their position as the number-one ranked Test side after the annual update of the ICC Test Championship Table. The Proteas have gained seven ratings points, lifting it to 135 ratings points - 19 ratings points. India moved from third to second in the annual update on Monday.
The annual update ensures that the 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.
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%, reducing their impact on India's overall rating.
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.
ICC Test Championship (as of 8 July, after the annual update)
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.