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South Africa needs to win series against West Indies to cement top Test ranking

Amla’s men know that irrespective of how the Australia-India series pans out, if they beat the West Indies by 1-0 or better, then they will be guaranteed top Test spot

South Africa needs to win series against West Indies to cement top Test ranking - Cricket News
Dale Steyn of South Africa is the number one ranked bowler on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers.
Download the Reliance ICC Rankings App via www.icc-cricket.com/mobile to predict the outcome of the series
The three-Test series between South Africa and West Indies starts at Centurion on Wednesday with the host looking to further consolidate its position at the top of the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table

Ahead of the series, Hashim Amla’s men know that irrespective of how the Australia-India series pans out, if they beat the West Indies by 1-0 or better, then they will be guaranteed top Test spot at the annual cut-off date.
However, if the South Africa-West Indies series ends in a draw and Australia wins all four Tests against India, then Australia will claim the top spot by 0.2 ratings points, with South Africa falling to second.
There are several permutations that could emerge over the coming weeks as the respective hosts in both series, South Africa and Australia, bid for top spot. To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the rankings table, please click here. The Test rankings table, unlike the ODI and T20I rankings tables, is updated after the conclusion of a series.
Meanwhile, AB de Villiers will go into the series as the highest-ranked batsman from either side, in second place, on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen and the 30-year-old holds a slender one-point advantage over West Indies left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who is on 887 ratings points.
In all there are three Proteas batsmen in the top 20 with de Villiers joined by sixth-placed Hashim Amla, who is currently 10 ratings points adrift of Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in the rankings table, and Faf du Plessis, who lies in a career-high 15th place on 707 points.
Other batsmen to feature inside the top 50 and likely to appear during the series are Marlon Samuels (44th) and Alviro Petersen (46th). 
In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Dale Steyn enters the series as the number-one ranked bowler, and he is one point shy of his highest career ranking of 908 points, which he achieved in the Test victory over Pakistan in Johannesburg in February 2013. Vernon Philander (sixth) is 21 points behind England’s James Anderson, while paceman Morne Morkel, in 12th position, is the third Proteas bowler in the top 20.
Eighth-ranked Kemar Roach is West Indies’ highest-ranked bowler on 768 ratings points and he will be aiming to reduce the six-point deficit on England’s Stuart Broad.  Sulieman Benn (20th), Jerome Taylor (45th), Kyle Abbott (51st) and Shannon Gabriel (68th) are some of the other bowlers who may feature in the series.
In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders, South Africa’s Philander is ranked in third place on 348 points and is just two points shy of India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.
Upcoming fixtures
Australia v India
17-21 Dec – 2nd Test, Brisbane
26-30 Dec – 3rd Test, Melbourne
6-10 Jan – 4th Test, Sydney

South Africa v West Indies
17-21 Dec – 1st Test, Centurion
26-30 Dec – 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth
2-6 Jan – 3rd Test, Cape Town
Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 15 December, before the start of South Africa-West Indies series)
Rank     Team               Rating     
1            South Africa        124       
2            Australia               117
3            England                104       
4            Pakistan               103      
5            Sri Lanka             101       
6            India                      96         
7            New Zealand        94         
8            West Indies           75         
9            Bangladesh           32         
10          Zimbabwe            18         
(Developed by David Kendix)
Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 15 December, before the start of South Africa-West Indies series)
Rank     Player                  Team       Points    Ave        HS Rating
   1           K. Sangakkara     SL           915        58.76     938 v Eng at Kandy 2007
   2           AB de Villiers        SA           888        51.02     935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014
   3           S. Chanderpaul    WI          887        53.10     901 v NZ at Napier 2008
   4           David Warner       Aus         880!       50.05     880 v Ind at Adelaide 2014
   5           Angelo Mathews  SL           873!       52.65     873 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014
   6           Hashim Amla       SA           863        51.32     907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
   7           Younus Khan       Pak         818        53.37     880 v SL at Lahore 2009
   8           Steven Smith        Aus         791!       46.02     791 v Ind at Adelaide 2014
   9           Joe Root                Eng         789!       50.94     789 v Ind at The Oval 2014
  10         Ross Taylor          NZ          783        45.95     871 v WI at Hamilton 2013
Selected Rankings
Rank      Player                  Team     Points     Ave        HS Rating
 15         Faf du Plessis        SA           707*!    52.58     707 v Zim at Harare 2014
  44         Marlon Samuels  WI          538        34.68     672 v Zim at Bridgetown 2013
  46         Alviro Petersen     SA           531        35.83     655 v NZ at Cape Town 2013
  56         Denesh Ramdin   WI          465        27.17     493 v NZ at Bridgetown 2014
  60         V. Philander          SA           443*      27.36     449 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2014
  63         Dean Elgar            SA           430*!    31.52     430 v Zim at Harare 2014
  72         Quinton de Kock SA           399*!    35.14     399 v Zim at Harare 2014
  85         Jason Holder        WI          343*      45.00     350 v NZ at Bridgetown 2014
  87         Robin Peterson     SA           337*      27.29     365 v Ind at Durban 2013
Rank      Player                   Team    Points    Ave        HS Rating
  1            Dale Steyn            SA           907        22.56     908 v Pak at Johannesburg 2013
   2           Rangana Herath  SL           851!       29.06     851 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014
   3           M. Johnson           Aus         835        27.60     849 v Pak at Dubai 2014
   4           Ryan Harris          Aus         832        23.12     870 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   5           James Anderson  Eng         806        29.72     813 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011
   6           V. Philander          SA           785        21.57     912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
   7           Stuart Broad         Eng         774        29.90     783 v WI at Lord's 2012
   8           Kemar Roach       WI          768!       25.98     768 v Ban at St Lucia 2014
   9           Trent Boult           NZ          762*      27.85     767 v Ind at Wellington 2014
  10         Tim Southee         NZ          744        30.67     799 v WI at Kingston 2014
Selected Rankings
Rank     Player                  Team     Points       Ave        HS Rating
  12         Morne Morkel      SA           707        29.90     776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011
  20         Sulieman Benn    WI          574*!    35.60     574 v Ban at St Lucia 2014
  45         Jerome Taylor      WI          371*      33.94     717 v Eng at Kingston 2009
  51         Kyle Abbott          SA           343*      16.41     354 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
  68         Shannon Gabriel  WI          271*      34.63     360 v Zim at Dominica 2013
  72         Robin Peterson     SA           246*      37.26     335 v NZ at Port Elizabeth 2013
  87         Marlon Samuels  WI          183*      54.41     250 v Zim at Dominica 2013
Rank      Player                  Team     Points      HS Rating
  1           Shakib Al Hasan Ban        398        419 v Zim at Khulna 2014
   2           R. Ashwin              Ind          350*/    419 v WI at Mumbai 2013
   3           V. Philander          SA           348*/    376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
   4           Stuart Broad         Eng         296        382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012
   5           M. Johnson           Aus         279        384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009
*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
!indicates career-highest rating
For more information go to www.relianceiccrankings.com.
Notes to Editors:
The official Reliance ICC Rankings App is now available on your mobile and tablet devices. Download now via www.icc-cricket.com/mobile. Track your favourite team and player across all three formats of the game, compare classic teams of the past and predict the outcome of upcoming series.

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