Dubai: India retained their second position in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings following the Wellington Test, which Tuesday ended in a draw to give New Zealand a 1-0 series win.
But the series result has made Australia's task of finishing ahead of India on the table before the April 1 cut-off date slightly easier.
Australia, who lead 1-0, need to draw the ongoing three-Test series with South Africa to leapfrog India.
India have slipped from 117 ratings points to 112 ratings points, and are ahead of Australia by just one ratings point.
If Australia win the series 1-0, they will rise to 115 ratings points, whereas a 2-0 win will put give them 116 on ratings points.
In contrast, if South Africa bounce back and win the next two Tests, then they will not only retain their pre-series rating of 133 ratings points, but Australia will also remain behind India on 110 ratings points.
South Africa is already guaranteed the number-one position at the April 1 cut-off date and, as such, will retain the mace and will also collect a cheque of $450,000, while the side that finishes second will pocket $350,000, while $250,000 will go to the third-ranked side.
England will collect $150,000 as they will finish fourth at the April 1 cut-off date.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have gained five ratings points following the 1-0 series win over India. They join the West Indies on 87 ratings points. However, they are ranked above the West Indies when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.