Proteas extend lead atop Test rankings


South Africa extended their advantage over Australia from six points to 22 points at the top of the ICC Test Team Rankings following the annual update, with the results from 2011-12 dropped from the calculations and outcomes from the 2013-14 series weighted at 50 per cent.

These calculations resulted in South Africa’s previous lead of six points increasing by a further 16 points, owing to Hashim Amla’s side gaining six points and Australia dropping 10 points.

The annual update saw a reshuffle in the middle of the pack and just three rankings points separated third-ranked New Zealand from seventh-ranked Sri Lanka. Prior to the annual update, the gap between the third and seventh ranked sides was seven points.

Fifth-ranked England and sixth-ranked Pakistan slipped on the ladder after dropping five points apiece. This was due to England’s 4-0 win over India and Pakistan’s 3-0 clean sweep over England among other results in 2011-12 being dropped from the rankings calculations.

India has benefitted from the annual update as heavy defeats against England and Australia in 2011-12 no longer counted. As such, India gained four points and two places in the latest Test table.

Eighth-ranked West Indies gained five ratings points to reduce the gap with seventh-ranked Sri Lanka from 17 points to 12 points. Bangladesh collected six points and Zimbabwe dropped 13 points as the difference between the two bottom-ranked sides increased to 34 points.

As fifth-ranked England will take on New Zealand in a two-Test series on 21 May and sixth-ranked Pakistan travel to Sri Lanka next month for a three-Test series, the series outcomes may well result in significant movements in the rankings.