India-Australia, Eng-NZ series: $750,000 at stake
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The Test championship mace is out of their reach but a plump prize purse of USD 750,000 is at stake when India will take on Australia and England clash with New Zealand in their respective series in days ahead.
South Africa are assured of top place and a prize money of USD 450,000 at the 1 April cut-off date but a further USD 750,000 will be distributed among the teams finishing second (USD 350,000), third (USD 250,000)and fourth (USD 150,000).
Australia are currently ranked third and lead fifth-ranked India by 12 ratings points. However, this could potentially change, depending how the series, beginning tomorrow here, pans out.
India can move ahead of Pakistan and finish in fourth position if it wins the series by 1-0 or better. To move ahead of Australia, India will lead to win all the four Tests of the series.
To be guaranteed second position on the table, Australia need 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.
England-New Zealand three-Test series will begin on March 6 in Dunedin.
Meanwhile, both India and Australia boast only one batsman each inside the top 20 of the ICC Player 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.
Batsmen aiming to break into the top 20 or improve their rankings include Virender Sehwag (22nd), Cheteshwar Pujara (24th), David Warner (25th), Virat Kohli (25th), Shane Watson and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (joint 36th), Phillip Hughes (44th), Ed Cowan (45th), Ravichandran Ashwin (46th) and Matthew Wade (51st).