India retain No. 5 spot in ICC Test rankings
Dubai: India retained number five position, while South Africa further consolidated their lead as per the latest ICC Test Championship rankings issued on Tuesday.
India, who last played a three-Test series in December against England, losing 1-2, also maintained their ratings point to 105. They are four points behind arch-rivals Pakistan, placed at the fourth spot with 109 points.
A 2-0 series win over New Zealand has earned South Africa one rating point and has lifted them to 124 points, while opening a six-point lead against second-ranked England.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar is the lone Indian batsman in the top 20 list of ICC rankings for Test batsmen.
With 653 points to his credit, Tendulkar has gained a spot to be at number 19 in the table, which is headed by Michael Clarke of Australia.
However, South Africa`s Hashim Amla has moved within a striking distance of claiming the number one position for the first time in his career after he moved up a place to second.
Amla is just one rating point behind Aussie captain Clarke and will have a shot at the coveted position when South Africa takes on Pakistan in the first Test of the three-match series in Johannesburg starting February 1.
In contrast, Clarke will return to the Test arena only on February 22 when Australia face India in the first Test of the four-match series in Chennai.
The bowlers` table figures three Indians -- Pragyan Ojha (9th spot), Zaheer Khan (15th) and Ravichandran Ashwin (20th) -- all of whom have managed to maintain their respective places in the list.
South African pacer Dale Steyn still tops the list. He has further consolidated his lead after spells of five for 17 and three for 48 against New Zealand in final Test.
Steyn has opened up 45 ratings points gap with team-mate and second-ranked Vernon Philander, who lost one per cent of his ratings point for missing the second Test due to injury.