Dubai: Following their 3-0 series win over World No.1 South Africa, India climbed to the second position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings released on Monday.
Hosts India, who were holding the fourth position before the start of the series, defeated the Proteas by 337 runs in the fourth and final Test to win the series 3-0 at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi on Monday.
Chasing a mammoth target of 481 runs, the visitors were bowled out for 143.
India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with 5/61. He was assisted by pacer Umesh Yadav (3/9) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/26).
India won the first Test by 108 runs at Mohali and the third match by 124 runs in Nagpur. The second match at Bengaluru was rained off.
The series result has helped Virat Kohli’s side gain 10 points, which has lifted it from 100 points to 110, ahead of Australia and Pakistan, who have slipped one place each to third and fourth, respectively.
Hashim Amla’s side has retained its No.1 Test ranking but its lead at the top has been slashed from 16 points to just four.
India has no more Test matches before the annual April 1 cut-off date, but third-ranked Australia will host eighth-ranked West Indies in a three-Test series from December 10.
Sixth-placed New Zealand will go head to head with seventh-ranked Sri Lanka also from December 10, while fifth-ranked England will travel to South Africa for a four-Test series which will start in Durban on December 26.
To finish as the number-one ranked Test side at the annual cut-off date, South Africa will have to, at least, draw the series with England.
Its failure to do so, will result in it falling from the top pedestal and handing the number-one position to Australia (provided it wins the series against the West Indies by 3-0).
The Test rankings (in the order of rank, team and points)
1 South Africa 114
2 India 110
3 Australia 109
4 Pakistan 106
5 England 99
6 New Zealand 95
7 Sri Lanka 93
8 West Indies 76
9 Bangladesh 47
10 Zimbabwe 5