The Australian cricket team has been knocked off the number one slot in the ICC Test rankings after losing the Ashes series to England and is now placed behind India at the fourth position.

Australia lost the fifth and decisive Test by a comprehensive 197 runs to go down 1-2 in the series. The debacle cost Ricky Ponting’s men eight ratings points and they are now number four behind India, the ICC said in a statement.

This is for the first time since the current method of ranking was introduced in May 2003 that the world champions have been toppled from the top.

South Africa benefited the most by the Aussie slump becoming the new number ones, followed by Sri Lanka. England stayed fifth but gained six ratings points and are now just 11 points behind Australia.

There are now just six ratings points separating the Proteas and Australia.

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