Proteas close to top spot in Tests

December 30th, 2008 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Dec 30 (IANS) After back-to-back wins at Perth and Melbourne, South Africa is now just a win away from dethroning Australia from the number-one spot in the ICC Test rankings.South Africa will top the list if it wins the third and last Test starting in Sydney Jan 3.

Australia has held the top spot since August 2001 and was second only for eight months out of the last 13 years when South Africa ruled for three months in late 1999 and for five months in 2001.

Australia last suffered a clean sweep on home turf in 1886-87, their five defeats in this calendar year is their worst in 23 years.

If the Proteas win in Sydney, it will put both teams level on 123 ratings points but Graeme Smith’s side will be placed higher by a fraction of a point.

If Australia wins, it will retain the number-one spot with 126 points while South Africa will be second on 121 points while a draw will keep Australia ahead of South Africa on 124 points.

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