South Africa will be aiming to carry the winning momentum from its ODI series into the three-Test series against New Zealand starting in Dunedin on Wednesday which will earn it the status of the number-one Test ranked side in the world.
Second-ranked South Africa trails top-ranked England by just one rating point. And to move ahead of Andrew Strauss’s side, Graeme Smith’s men have to win all the three Tests.
A 3-0 win will put South Africa one ratings point ahead of England on 119 while any other series result will not be enough to help the Proteas make history.
Though England and Sri Lanka go head-to-head in a two-Test series from 26 March in Galle, the series outcome will not affected the Test Championship table as the series will conclude on 7 April in Colombo.
If South Africa wins all the three Tests, it will celebrate the achievement by receiving the prestigious Reliance ICC Test Championship mace which is presented to the side which tops the Championship table at the 1 April cut-off date, along with a cash award of US$175,000.
However, if South Africa fails to achieve the desired series result, then England will retain the mace it won at The Oval last year after defeating India 4-0, as well as a cheque of US$175,000 whereas South Africa will once again have to settle with the runner-up prize of US$75,000.