ICC Test rankings January 7, 2009

Australia cling to No. 1 Test spot after Sydney win

Cricinfo staff

South Africa may have missed their chance to go top in Australia, but any sort of victory in the return series, beginning February, will ensure the No. 1 spot © PA Photos

Australia's 103-run victory against South Africa in the third and final Test of the series in Sydney has ensured they stay top of the ICC Test rankings. However, the gap at the top has been reduced to just five rating points as South Africa clinched the series 2-1.

It was the first time that South Africa, who went into the series placed second, won a Test series in Australia, though only a 3-0 whitewash would have ensured a change at the top.

However, they will be keen to grab the opportunity in the return series, with the first Test getting underway on February 26 in Johannesburg. Any sort of victory in the three-match series will result in South Africa going top.

With India, currently at No. 3, in the ascendancy as well after back-to-back series wins against Australia and England at home, there are now just eight points separating the top three teams.

Sri Lanka also strengthened its hold on the fourth place with a 2-0 series win in Bangladesh. The victory gave Sri Lanka another rating point and put them within 10 of India and six ahead of England, who are at fifth.

Pakistan are three points behind in sixth place, while the West Indies stayed just ahead of New Zealand by a fraction of a point following the drawn two-Test series between the two teams.

Click here to see the rankings table.