Johannesburg: A dramatic 63-run win against South Africa in the third Test at the Wanderers ensured that number one ranked India retained, not only their place in the Test rankings but also as the ICC Test Championship Mace. Also they have won a $1 million award.
This win also makes sure that second-placed South Africa would not be able to topple India in the Test rankings before the cutoff date of April 3, even if they win all their matches against Australia in March.
India had begun the series with 124 points with South Africa trailing by 13 points on 111. But Virat Kohli and co would return back to the country with 121 points, ahead of the Proteas who won the three-match series 2-1 and ended on 115 points.
The Indian captain would thus be presented with the prestigious Test mace and a cheque of $1 million, in a ceremony, the details of which would be announced later.
South Africa had a chance to reclaim the top spot they had lost in 2015 had they defeated India 3-0 and had gone on to win 2-0 or a better margin against Australia. Faf Du Plessis and his side now need to win atleast one Test match against Australia to retain their second position in the Test rankings, which would earn them $500,000.
If Australia end up third in the rankings, then they would get $200,000 and a 3-0 or a 4-0 win against South Africa would help them move up to the second spot.
The fourth place however would be decided after the two-match Test matches series between England and New Zealand and the team that finishes fourth would pocket $100,000. In case of a draw, New Zealand would finish fourth.
April 3 has been fixed as the cutoff date as it is on that day that the last Tests between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg and New Zealand and England in Christchurch would end.