Proteas, Aussies in tussle for second place

India may already have been presented with the ICC Test championship mace after being assured of the top place in the Test team rankings at the cut-off date of 3 April but the Proteas and Australia feature in a four-Test series from Thursday in what could be an interesting tussle for the second place.

India clinched the $1 million prize money for the second year running and the Proteas will be similarly looking to seal the second prize of $500,000, which they are well placed to do.

Australia can overtake South Africa if they win 3-0 or better but Australia (104 points) also have the danger of slipping from their third position and seeing either New Zealand or England overtake them as the two sides are scheduled to play a two-Test series that also culminates on 3 April.

Australia could slip to 100 points with a 4-0 loss and to 101 with a 3-0 loss while New Zealand (100) can go up to 104 points with a 2-0 win while a similar comprehensive verdict for England (99) will see them go up to 102 points.

The side finishing third gets $200,000 and the fourth team gets $100,000.

Series scenarios:

Proteas win 4-0 – South Africa 120, Australia 100

Proteas win 3-0 – South Africa 118, Australia 101

Proteas win 2-0 or 3-1 – South Africa 117, Australia 102

Proteas win 1-0 – South Africa 116, Australia 103

Drawn series – Proteas 114, Australia 106

Australia win 4-0 – Australia 111, South Africa 108

Australia win 3-0 – Australia 110, South Africa 110 (behind on decimals)

Australia win 2-0 or 3-1 – South Africa 111, Australia 109

Australia win 1-0 – South Africa 112, Australia 109