Hashim Amla has moved within four ranking points of becoming the number-one Test batsman in the world, while Ricky Ponting ended his illustrious career in 26th place.
South African Amla produced a stunning knock in Perth with 196 in the second innings of the series-decider to help the Proteas retain the world number one ranking with a 1-0 series win.
Amla was adjudged man of the match and moved up two places in the ICC rankings to third with 875 points, behind top-ranked West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul (879) and Australian captain Michael Clarke (878), who dropped to second.
Ponting, meanwhile, endured a less than ideal finale in Perth, with innings of four and eight to bow out as Australia's most prolific run scorer ever with 12,363.
Chanderpaul moved back to the top of the rankings courtesy of Clarke's innings of five and 44, a week after the Australian skipper had briefly moved top with a double century in the Adelaide Test.
Clarke will have the first crack at regaining top spot again when Australia takes on Sri Lanka in Hobart on December 14, while South Africa does not play another Test until January 2, when they take on New Zealand in Cape Town.
In the bowling rankings, South Africa's Dale Steyn continues to dominate at the top with 880 points while team-mate Vernon Philander joins Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath in second spot with 838 points.
Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson has returned to the top 20 with a three-place climb after a six-wicket haul in Perth, while team-mate Mitchell Starc is up 21 spots to 53rd after taking eight wickets at the WACA Ground.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 05 December, 2012 7:24AM AEST