Pakistan's consistent performances since 2010 have seen them rise in the rankings to the fourth spot ahead of India. -Photo by Reuters

LONDON: South Africa's chances of replacing England as test cricket number one after their forthcoming three test series became more difficult when the latest International Cricket Council rankings were published on Saturday.

The South Africans slipped to third in the list - Australia replacing them in second - and dropped to nine points off England from just a point adrift when the annual figures were issued.

The Proteas slipped down the list because their series victories in England and Australia four years ago were no longer valid to the rankings.

A 1-0 or 2-1 defeat to South Africa would see the victors go level on points with England, but above them by a decimal fraction.

Should England either draw or win, though, they will stay on top - and if they were to whitewash the tourists, South Africa would drop to fourth where Pakistan are currently placed on the back of their consistent performances since 2010.

Pakistan's series loss to Sri Lanka just a few days ago was their first since their ill-fated tour of England in 2010, and Misbah-ul-Haq first since taking over as captain of the side.

ICC Test Ranking

Team Matches Points Rating
1 England 32 3893 122
2 Australia 34 3952 116
3 South Africa 21 2364 113
4 Pakistan 29 3148 109
5 India 29 3004 104
6 Sri Lanka 29 2834 98
7 New Zealand 18 1568 87
8 West Indies 25 2098 84
9 Bangladesh 12 0 0
ICC ODI Ranking
Team Matches Points Rating
1 Australia 53 6287 119
2 South Africa 30 3549 118
3 England 45 5290 118
4 India 55 6409 117
5 Sri Lanka 56 6265 112
6 Pakistan 49 5050 103
7 West Indies 37 3179 86
8 New Zealand 34 2875 85
9 Bangladesh 36 2408 67
10 Zimbabwe 33 1511 46
11 Ireland 14 504 36
12 Netherlands 9 137 15
13 Kenya 9 74 8
ICC T20 Ranking
Team Matches QFY Matches Points Rating
1 England 15 23 1954 130
2 South Africa 12 20 1468 122
3 Sri Lanka 11 20 1268 115
4 Pakistan 19 31 2055 108
5 Australia 15 25 1603 107
6 New Zealand 14 26 1686 105
7 India 9 16 930 103
8 West Indies 11 21 1335 103
9 Ireland 10 15 946 95
10 Afghanistan 6 11 500 83
11 Netherlands 5 8 321 64
12 Zimbabwe 9 13 463 51
13 Scotland 5 8 200 40
14 Canada 5 8 79 16
15 Kenya 6 9 75 13

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