South Africa currently leads the Reliance ICC Test Championship Table with 123 ratings points and have a five point lead over second-placed England. Graeme Smith’s side retained the Reliance ICC Test Championship Mace in December 2012 after it defeated Australia 1-0.
For South Africa to retain the number-one spot, it just needs a 0-0 result or better in the two-match series against New Zealand. South Africa could at best gain one ratings point for winning the series 2-0, but could lose one point if it wins the series 1-0.
In the event of the series ending at 1-1, South Africa would drop down to 119 points, just one ahead of England, currently placed at 118.
But if South Africa was to lose the Test series against New Zealand 0-1, it would also lose the top position to England - dropping seven points in the process to end on 116. Then, South Africa’s final position on the table will depend on the result in the Australia-Sri Lanka series. Australia currently leads the series 2-0 and it could gain three ratings points to end at 117 if it wins the third Test starting in Sydney from 3 January. New Zealand on the other hand would remain at number eight on the table but would gain seven ratings point to finish at 86.
In the event of South Africa losing both its Tests against New Zealand it would lose eight ratings points to fall to 115 ratings points to finish third on the table.—NNI