England hold on to fourth spot

18 May 2017 10:09:30 EST
Joe Root will captain England in the Test series against South Africa this summer.

England remain fourth in the official Test rankings after the International Cricket Council applied its annual update.

However, the team that Joe Root has inherited from Alastair Cook has lost two ratings points and is now a massive 24 points behind leaders India.

Root's first assignment as captain in July is against second-placed South Africa, a team they trail by 18 points.

England are 2/7 to win the forthcoming one-day series against the Proteas while they can be backed at 12/5 to triumph in the Ashes series Down Under this winter.

The annual update has seen series results from 2013-14 no longer included and outcomes from the 2015-16 series weighted at 50 per cent, while greater credence has been given to results from last winter.

Faf du Plessis' Proteas have made the biggest leap - of eight points - thanks chiefly to their victory in Australia last autumn.

While India previously enjoyed a 13-point advantage over the field, that has been trimmed to six by the in-form South Africans.

Only nine points now separate third-ranked Australia from seventh-ranked Sri Lanka, with the Australians, England and Pakistan all dropping ranking scores.

Australia have retained third place but have plummeted from 108 points to 100 points, England have slipped to 99 points, while Pakistan have dropped behind New Zealand in sixth place after shedding four points to sit on 93.

Australia's dip also has something to do with their 5-0 series win over England in 2013-14 dropping from the calculation purposes.

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