If Sri Lanka wins the series against Bangladesh, 1-0 it will retain the sixth rank
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Sri Lanka will play a two-Test series against host Bangladesh from 27 January in Mirpur with an eye on retaining its sixth place on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table.
Sixth-ranked Sri Lanka goes into the series with 90 ratings points, leading tenth-ranked Bangladesh by 72 ratings points. As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, Angelo Mathews’ men need to win one or both the Tests to avoid slipping behind West Indies in seventh rank.
If Sri Lanka wins the series 1-0 it will retain the sixth rank with a loss of ratings point at 89. A 2-0 series win will ensure that Sri Lanka stays in sixth place with a gain of a ratings point at 91.
But a 0-0 series draw or even loss of one or both Tests will mean that Sri Lanka drops behind West Indies to seventh.
If the series is drawn 0-0, Sri Lanka will lose four ratings points to end on 86 in seventh place, just one behind West Indies. If Bangladesh wins the series 1-0, Sri Lanka will drop to seventh place with a loss of seven ratings points to end at 83, four behind West Indies.
A 2-0 series win for Bangladesh will mean that Sri Lanka loses eight ratings points to end on 82, on par with eighth-ranked New Zealand, but when ratings are calculated beyond decimal point, then Angelo Mathews' men will be ranked ahead.
If Bangladesh does win the series by any margin it has the opportunity to close the gap with ninth-ranked Zimbabwe.
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.
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.
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
All eyes on Mathews
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews starts the series with an excellent opportunity to enter the top 10 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen.
Mathews, player of the series, in the recent series against Pakistan is currently in 12th place.
The highest-ranked batsman on either side however is Kumar Sangakkara in seventh place. Mahela Jayawardena in 18th position is the only other batsman in the top 20 likely to feature in the series.
For Bangladesh some of the batsmen likely to be in action are Shakib Al Hasan (32nd), Tamim Iqbal (34th), Mominul Haque (36th), Mushfiqur Rahim (39th) and Nasir Jossain (42nd).
Rangana Herath starts off as the highest-ranked bowler on either side in fourth place and is the only bowler in the top 10 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers to feature in the series.
In fact, the only other bowler in the top 20 is Shakib, who sits in 20th place.
The other bowlers to watch out for are Sohag Gazi (37th), Ajantha Mendis (39th), Shaminda Eranga (41st), Robiul Islam (60th) and Suranga Lakmal (63rd).
27-31 January: First Test, Mirpur
4-8 February: Second Test, Chittagong