The Test championship mace is out of its reach but a plump prize purse of $750,000 is at stake when India will take on Australia and England clashes with New Zealand in their respective series in days ahead.
South Africa is assured of top place and a prize money of $450,000 at the April 1 cut-off date but a further $750,000 will be distributed among the teams finishing second ($350,000), third ($250,000) and fourth ($150,000).
Australia is currently ranked third and leads fifth-ranked India by 12 ratings points. However, this could potentially change, depending how the series, beginning here on Friday, pans out.
India can move ahead of Pakistan and finish in fourth position if it wins the series 1-0 or better. To move ahead of Australia, India will need to win all the four Tests.
To be guaranteed second position on the table, Australia needs to win the series 2-0 or better. If Australia wins 2-0 and England beats New Zealand 3-0, then both Australia and England will be locked at 119 ratings points but Australia will be ranked above England when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
The England-New Zealand three-Test series will begin on March 6 in Dunedin.
Meanwhile, both India and Australia boast of only one batsman each inside the top 20 of the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.
Australia captain Michael Clarke is occupying second position, six ratings points behind South Africa’s Hashim Amla, while India’s Sachin Tendulkar is in 20th spot. — PTI