Cape Town - The Proteas have had their hold on the No 2 Test ranking spot slashed following their 2-0 series whitewash against Sri Lanka.
The two sides have moved in opposite directions in the latest ICC Test Team rankings following the Proteas' 199-run loss in Colombo on Monday.
READ: Proteas' defeat upsets Asia win-loss Test ledger
Second-ranked South Africa have been joined Australia on 106 points after conceding six points, while sixth-ranked Sri Lanka have joined England on 97 points after collecting six points.
However, South Africa are ranked above Australia - and Sri Lanka are ranked below England - when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point.
The Proteas' dip means India will retain their No 1 ranking irrespective of how their five-Test series against England pans out, but England can surpass South Africa and move into second if they achieve a clean sweep in the series. The series starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday, August 1.
Faf du Plessis' charges will only play red-ball cricket again in December when they take on Pakistan in a three-Test series at home.
Latest ICC Test Team rankings:
1. India - 125
2. South Africa - 106
3. Australia - 106
4. New Zealand - 102
5. England - 97
6. Sri Lanka - 97
7. Pakistan - 88
8. West Indies - 77
9. Bangladesh - 67
10. Zimbabwe - 2
11. Afghanistan - 0
12. Ireland - 0