Sri Lanka needs to win third Test to move ahead of Pakistan into fifth place
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Sri Lanka’s players have made impressive gains in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Tests released on Monday, following its nine-wicket win over Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai.
Leading the charge for Sri Lanka was former captain Mahela Jayawardena, also the player of the match in the Dubai Test.
Jayawardena, jumped seven places to 18th on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, to thereby return to the top 20, following his knock of 129 in the first innings.
The other Sri Lanka batsmen to move up are openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva.
Silva, who scored 95 and 58 in the Test, continued his impressive upward movement as he rocketed 55 places to a career-best 59th position. Karunaratne, who stroked an unbeaten 62 in the second innings to script Sri Lanka’s chase, rose 21 places to a best-ever 79th.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s pace duo of Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal have made moved up on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers.
Lakmal’s match haul of six for 123 helped him rise 17 places to 66th. Eranga, on the other hand, jumped 12 places to a career-high of 45th.
Sri Lanka'’s Rangana Herath in fourth place is the highest ranked bowler on either side, with Saeed Ajmal closely following him in fifth place.
For Pakistan, captain Misbah-u-Haq in eighth place continues to be it’s highest-ranked batsman. Misbah, who scored 97 in the second innings, however dropped six ratings points to finish on 798, 19 behind seventh-ranked Australia captain Michael Clarke.
Younus Khan, who dropped down a place to tenth, is the other Pakistan batsman in the top 10. Outside the top 20, the only positive for Pakistan was Khurram Manzoor’s rise by five places to 60th.
Kumar Sangakkara in sixth, is still the highest ranked batsman on either side.
The batting table is still headed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers with Shivnarine Chanderpaul in second place. The bowlers’ table is topped by South Africa’s Vernon Philander, with teammate Dale Steyn in second position.
To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Rankings Table, please click here. The Test Ranking Table, unlike the ODI and T20I Rankings tables, are updated after every series.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s nine-wicket win over Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai on Sunday means that its hopes of moving into fifth place on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table, remains alive.
Sri Lanka currently leads the three-match series 1-0 and needs to win the Sharjah Test starting from Thursday, 16 January, to move ahead of Pakistan into fifth place.
Sri Lanka is presently ranked sixth with 88 points, while Pakistan is ranked fifth with 102 ratings points.
If Sri Lanka wins the Sharjah Test to win the series 2-0, it will jump from 88 ratings points to 95 ratings points while Pakistan will slip from 102 ratings points to 94 ratings points.
Pakistan, on the other hand, had slipped to fifth position at the end of the Ashes series and needs to either draw or win the Sharjah Test to avoid dropping behind Sri Lanka on the Rankings table.
With the top four sides as of 31 December 2016 qualifying for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship scheduled for 2017, every Test counts towards the qualification.
About ICC World Test Championship
The inaugural ICC World Test Championship (ICC WTC) will be hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2017.
The qualification pathway for the ICC World Test Championship is through the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings, with the qualifying period being from 1 May 2013 to 31 December 2016.
The top four teams at the conclusion of the qualification period will qualify for the event in 2017. The results of all Test series ending after 1 May 2013, and the results of all Test series starting before 31 December 2016, will be included in the period that determine qualification for the ICC WTC.
The official hashtag for the ICC World Test Championship is #wtc
Pakistan v Sri Lanka
16-20 January: Third Test, Sharjah