South Africa have consolidated their position as the top-ranked Test side after the yearly update of the Reliance ICC Test Championship Table – World Test Rankings – while Pakistan are still at the fifth position.

[caption id="attachment_1827" align="alignright" width="300"]South Africa have now a commanding lead of 19 points over second-ranked India (Photo: Getty Images) South Africa have now a commanding lead of 19 points over second-ranked India (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

India have moved up to second position, snatching the place by England who are now at the third place.

According to an International Cricket Council (ICC) press release, a copy of which was sent to Cricnama, the update “continues to reflect recent form, with older results being discarded.”

It was decided in a recent ICC meeting that the annual update to the Test, ODI and T20 rankings should now take place on May 1 of every year, instead of August 1. This is why the latest update has been backdated to  May 1, 2013.

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

According to the latest rankings, South Africa have gained seven points, and now their total points are 135, which means a 19-point lead over second-ranked India. The Proteas firm position is backed by their outstanding form in the Test arena, where they have not lost a Test for 18 months and a Test series during the entire rankings period. In 2012-2013 (the period in which results are weighed at 100 per cent), South Africa have remained unbeaten, beating England 2-0, Australia 1-0, New Zealand 2-0 and Pakistan 3-0.

The ODI defending champions India have been benefited by the latest rankings, achieving second position once again. Reason? India’s two 4-0 defeats in England and Australia in 2011-12 are now only weighed at 50 per cent, reducing their impact on India’s overall rating. But England have still a chance to regain their second position if they beat Australia by at least 3-0 in the Ashes, scheduled to begin from July 10. If this happens, Australia will tumble down even below Pakistan, who will then be at the fourth position. And in case Australia beat the hosts England, they will jump to third place, sending England to the fourth.

Pakistan are where they were. But they did lose two valuable points. Pakistan had 104 points before the latest update and Sri Lanka were at sixth position with 92 points. Now Pakistan have 102 points and West Indies have secured sixth place, gaining seven points, while Sri Lanka are at seventh position with 88 points.
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