Dubai, Aug 10:
The Indian cricket team has a chance to climb to the third spot in Test rankings from the fifth position, provided they whitewash Sri Lanka 3-0 in a Test series starting on Wednesday and Australia defeats England in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval.
A 2-1 victory would see India, on 97 points, gain three points and climb to the fourth spot, overtaking New Zealand (99).
India play the first Test of a three-match series from Wednesday while Australia face England in the fifth Ashes Test from August 20. England have won the series 3-1 already.
If seventh-placed Sri Lanka (92) whitewashes India 3-0 then it will gain eight rankings points and could theoretically climb to fifth and India would drop to 89 points, irrespective of the outcome in the final Ashes Test.
A 2-1 win for the hosts, meanwhile, would see it gain four rankings points and, thus, overtake Virat Kohli’s side.
The last time India toured Sri Lanka in 2010, the series ended in a 1-1 draw, and in that scenario Sri Lanka would gain a point, while India would remain on 97 points.
Meanwhile, in the International Cricket Council (ICC) player rankings for Test batsmen, released on Monday, fifth-placed Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakarra goes into his final Test series as the highest ranked batsman on either side on 874 points, seven adrift of South Africa’s Hashim Amla. England’s Joe Root heads the list with 917 points.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews lies a single place and 14 rankings points further behind, with his opposite number Kohli (755) in tenth position, eight points behind Australia’s Chris Rogers. Kohli is now 180 runs short of the 5,000-run mark in Test cricket.
In the ICC player rankings for Test bowlers, Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath is the highest ranked bowler heading into the series in eighth place on 752 points, 13 points behind Australia’s Mitchell Johnson. South African pacer Dale Steyn tops the list with 905 points.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (12th position), with 124 wickets in 25 Tests to date, is his side’s leading bowler with pacer Ishant Sharma (21st) looking to break back into the top 20.
Ashwin is also the highest-ranked all-rounder on either side heading into the series, sitting a point behind South Africa’s Vernon Philander in third position, while Mathews is Sri Lanka’s best all-rounder in 15th spot. Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (384 points) leads the list.