Cape Town - Australia have conceded their No 1 ranking to India after Sri Lanka made a clean sweep of the three-Test series in Colombo on Wednesday.
Australia had arrived in Colombo in the No 1 position on 118 ratings points, but following loses in Pallekele (106 runs), Galle (229 runs) and Colombo (163 runs), they have joined England on 108 points, although still ranked above Alastair Cook’s side.
Sri Lanka’s 3-0 series win has seen them jump into sixth spot on 95 points, replacing South Africa who drop down to No 7 in the world.
Australia’s drop to third means India have become the No 1-ranked side on the ICC Test team rankings, while Pakistan have moved into second position - just one point behind.
India had started the year as the top-ranked side before Australia reclaimed the position following their 2-0 away win over New Zealand.
For Pakistan, this is the second time in less than a year that they have peaked to the No 2 position. After defeating England 2-0 in the United Arab Emirates last year, Pakistan had risen to second position for the first time since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.
To retain the No 1-ranking, India will now have to win the fourth and final Test of the four-Test series against the West Indies, which begins in Port of Spain on Thursday, August 18. India’s failure to win the Test will mean Pakistan will become the No-1 ranked side for the first time.
If India win the fourth Test, then they will finish on 112 points - one ahead of Pakistan - but they will end on 110 points if the Test is drawn or on 108 points in fourth place in the case of West Indies earning a consolation win.
As regards Sri Lanka, it has been a magnificent effort by Angelo Mathews’ side. They had entered the series in seventh position on 85 points, but have climbed to sixth position after earning 10 points.
They now lead South Africa by three points, who have a series against New Zealand starting in Durban on Friday, August 19.
ICC Test rankings:
1. India 112
2. Pakistan 111
3. Australia 108
4. England 108
5. New Zealand 99
6. Sri Lanka 95
7. South Africa 92
8. West Indies 65
9. Bangladesh 57
10. Zimbabwe 8