Calcutta: South Africa have sealed their position as the No. 1 ranked Test side before the April 1 cut off date to retain the mace, but the race for the second spot intensifies as India take on Australia and England clash with New Zealand in respective Test series.
South Africa are also assured of a prize money of $450,000, but a further $750,000 will be distributed among the teams finishing second ($350,000), third ($250,000) and fourth ($150,000).
Australia are currently ranked third and lead fifth-ranked India by 12 ratings points. However, this could potentially change, depending on the result of the series.
India can move ahead of Pakistan and finish in fourth position if they win the series by 1-0 or better. To move ahead of Australia, they have to thrash the visitors 4-0.
To be guaranteed 2nd position on the table, Australia need to win the series 2-0 or better. If Australia win 2-0 and England beat New Zealand 3-0, then both Australia and England will be locked at 119 ratings points but Australia will be ranked above when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
Meanwhile, both India and Australia boast only one batsman each inside the top-20 of the rankings for Test batsmen.
Australia captain Michael Clarke is occupying second position, six ratings points behind Hashim Amla.
Batsmen aiming to break into the top-20 or improve their rankings include Virender Sehwag (22nd), Cheteshwar Pujara (24th), David Warner (25th), Virat Kohli (25th), Shane Watson and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (joint 36th), Phillip Hughes (44th), Ed Cowan (45th), Ravichandran Ashwin (46th) and Matthew Wade (51st).