Dubai, Dec 14 (UNI) A comprehensive 1-0 series victory over arch-rival Pakistan in the just concluded three-match Test series has placed India only a fraction of a ratings point below South Africa on fourth position while its sub-continental adversary stays sixth in the ICC Test match ranking.
The third and final Test in Bangalore ended in a draw but Anil Kumble's men had done enough during the rest of the series to take the honours overall. And in doing so the team gained two ratings points to draw level with the Proteas.
However, India stays in fourth position behind Graeme Smith's team when the points are calculated past the decimal point.
There is very little to choose now between the teams in the middle section of the table with just six ratings points separating England in second place and Sri Lanka in fifth. Australia is still way out on its own in first place, some 32 ratings points clear of England.
Meanwhile, Pakistan loses ground to Sri Lanka in the rankings following the series defeat and now lies 11 points adrift in sixth position. In fact, New Zealand is now hot on the heels of Pakistan and if Daniel Vettori's team wins its upcoming two-Test series against Bangladesh 2-0 it will be just one ratings point behind.
The LG ICC Test Championship is only updated at the end of each series. This is because a team that wins a series outright receives an additional bonus. As such, the impact of the ongoing Sri Lanka v England series will only be felt at the end of the third Test, which begins in Galle on 18 December.
England needs to win that match if it is to retain its second position on the ladder. If it only manages a draw or if it is defeated in Galle, then it will fall to a lowly fifth spot.
A draw would give Sri Lanka a 1-0 series win and move it up to third on the list but if Mahela Jayawardena's team can finish the series 2-0 up, it would shoot up to second place, ahead of South Africa and India.
LG ICC Test Championship: 1. Australia (143), 2. England (111), 3. South Africa (109), 4. India (109), 5. Sri Lanka (105), 6. Pakistan (94), 7. New Zealand (91), 8. West Indies (72), 9. Bangladesh (4).