South Africa celebrates lifting the trophy during the 2018 Sunfoil Test Series match against Australia at Wanderers Stadium in April. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

COLOMBO – England have moved past South Africa and claimed second position on the men’s Test team rankings after completing a 3-0 sweep over Sri Lanka in Colombo on Monday.

England had started the Test series ranked third on 106 points, one point behind South Africa. As the Test team rankings, unlike the ODI and T20I team rankings, are updated at the end of a series, England have finished in second place on 108 points.

In contrast, Sri Lanka, who had entered the series in sixth place on 97 points (two points ahead of seventh-ranked Pakistan), have finished two points behind Pakistan on 93 points after conceding four points.

In the latest table, India (116 points) lead the field. They are followed by England (108), South Africa (106), Australia (102) and New Zealand (101).

With some more mouth-watering Test cricket to take place in the season, there could potentially be a change at the top of the table depending on how Australia and India, and the South Africa and Pakistan series pan out.

If Australia win all four Tests against India, and South Africa beat Pakistan 3-0, then South Africa will be the new No 1-ranked side, ahead of Australia by a fraction of a point. 

In this scenario, England and India will be equal on 108 points with England ranked above India when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Australia can also top the team rankings, but to make this happen, Tim Paine’s side will have to win all four Tests against India and then hope Pakistan either draw or win a Test against South Africa. 

If Australia and South Africa win 4-0 and 2-1, then Australia will be first on 110 points and South Africa will be fourth on 108 points.

However, if India and Pakistan beat Australia and South Africa 4-0 and 3-0, then India will move to 120 points while retaining the No 1 position, followed by England (108), New Zealand (105, if they draw with Pakistan 1-1 and beat Sri Lanka 2-0), Pakistan (103), South Africa (100) and Australia (97). 

African News Agency (ANA)

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