Number-one spot awaits South Africa if it beats Aussies 3-0

December 15th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Dubai, Dec 15 (ANI): South Africa will overtake Australia at the top if it wins series 3-0; India will retake second place if it beats England in Mohali.

South Africa will go top of the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table if it beats Australia 3-0 in the three-match series that gets underway in Perth on Wednesday.

Graeme Smiths team gets its tour underway in earnest with two fast bowlers Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn in the top five of the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Player Rankings on a WACA surface that traditionally favours the pace men.

Currently, Australia is 13 points clear of the Proteas at the top despite its recent 2-0 series defeat in India, indicating just how dominant it had been for a protracted period of time before then. But now there is a real race on for the top as South Africa and India have Ricky Pontings men in their sights.

India completed a remarkable victory over England in Chennai today by scoring 387-4 in the fourth innings, with most of those runs coming on day five of the Test.

The ICC Test Championship is only updated at the end of each series so that victory is not reflected yet but if Mahendra Singh Dhonis team puts in a similar performance in the second and final Test at Mohali it will gain three points and move into second position, just 11 points behind Australia.

Then it will be all eyes on Australia as the worlds number-one team attempts to stay at the top. A 3-0 defeat will drop it below South Africa by a fraction of a point in which case just four ratings points would separate the top three teams in the world.

A 2-0 win for South Africa would leave it in second place just two points short of Australia while a 1-0 or 2-1 victory would leave the gap at five points and a drawn series would see Australia lose two points and South Africa gain one.

It should not be forgotten that South Africa has never won a Test series in Australia and Pontings men will be looking on this as a great opportunity to restore its self-confidence and public faith after that difficult tour of India.

A 3-0 series win for the home side will give it four points and stretch the gap with SA to 21 while Australia can also strengthen its position at the top by winning 2-0, 1-0 or 2-1.

South Africa must be careful it doesnt end the series behind India. If India wins the second Test against England in Mohali it will go second leaving SA needing a series win of some kind just to stay second in the Test Championship table. (ANI)

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