There is an incentive for Australia to take from the upcoming four-match Test series against the Proteas.
If they manage to win the series by a 3-0 margin or better, they will go ahead of South Africa and will clinch $500,000 prize for 2nd spot finish in the Latest ICC Test Rankings on the cut-off date 3rd April. The number one team in the world, Team India might have been handed the Test Championship mace already after confirming their place in the No 1 position, but the 2nd spot will get decided after the conclusion of the South Africa-Australia Test series.
India bagged the $1 million prize money for the 2nd straight year. South Africa who sealed the 2nd spot last year will look for the same. The 2nd placed team will bag $500,000. The Aussies will go on to topple South Africa if they win 3-0 or better.
However, Australia who is currently on 104 points and might face the danger of sliding down the table. They might slip from their 3rd position which in turn could help England or New Zealand take up the 3rd slot. They are slated to play a two-match Test series which will conclude on 3rd April.
Australia could slip to as low as 100 points if they suffer a 4-0 hounding at the hands of the Proteas. If New Zealand wins the series against England, they will finish on 104 points while England can also do the same if they win by a similar margin.
Here are the possible scenarios:
South Africa win 4-0 – South Africa 120, Australia 100
South Africa win 3-0 – South Africa 118, Australia 101
South Africa win 2-0 or 3-1 – South Africa 117, Australia 102
South Africa win 1-0 – South Africa 116, Australia 103
Drawn series – South Africa 114, Australia 106
Australia win 4-0 – Australia 111, South Africa 108
Australia win 3-0 – Australia 110, South Africa 110 (behind on decimals)
Australia win 2-0 or 3-1 – South Africa 111, Australia 109
Australia win 1-0 – South Africa 112, Australia 109
|Rank Team Points|
|1 India 121|
|2 South Africa 115|
|3 Australia 104|
|4 New Zealand 100|
|5 England 99|
|6 Sri Lanka 95|
|7 Pakistan 88|
|8 Windies 72|
|9 Bangladesh 71|
|10 Zimbabwe 01|