While the final rankings of each team are heavily dependent on the ongoing five-Test series between England and India, both will be aiming for a series win to avoid downwards movement
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The two-Test series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan gets underway in Galle on 6 August, with the host aiming to improve its ranking in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table, and Pakistan looking to retain its third position.
Pakistan is currently ranked third with 103 ratings points, while Sri Lanka is eight ratings points behind in sixth position, with 95 ratings points.
While the final rankings of each team are heavily dependent on the ongoing five-Test series between England and India, both will be aiming for a series win to avoid downwards movement.
The five-Test series between England and India will end a day after the series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan finishes. The series between England and India is currently locked in a 1-1 deadlock at the end of the first three Tests.
Meanwhile, Pakistan must win the series to maintain its hold on third position and thereby close the gap with South Africa and Australia in first and second place, respectively, while Sri Lanka could drop a place to seventh in such a scenario.
On the other hand, if Sri Lanka were to win the series 1-0, it could move up one place to fifth, while a 2-0 win will hand Angelo Mathews’ side a rise of two places to fourth. A series loss by any margin will mean that Pakistan would drop to sixth.
A 1-1 series deadlock will see both sides maintaining their pre-series rankings.
Meanwhile, with an eye on the other ongoing series, South Africa will be aiming to keep its number-one position when it faces off against Zimbabwe in a one-off Test in Harare from 9 August.
South Africa, currently ranked first in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table after reclaiming the top spot following a 1-0 series victory against Sri Lanka, must win the Test to stay on top of the tree. A draw or loss will see Hashim Amla’s team drop below Australia into second position.
Zimbabwe’s ranking of ninth will not change regardless of the outcome of the Test, but should the side defeat South Africa, it will gain 10 ratings points and close the gap with eighth-ranked West Indies.
To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Rankings Table, please click here. The ODI and T20I Rankings tables, unlike the Test Rankings Table, are updated after every match.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan will start their two-match Test series with as many as three of the top 10 batsmen in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen likely to be seen in action.
Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, who was adjudged the ICC Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year in 2012 at the LG ICC Awards in Colombo, will lead the charge, alongside skipper Angelo Mathews (sixth) and his Pakistan counter-part Misbah-ul-Haq (seventh) during the two-Test series.
Amongst the other stars in the top 20, Pakistan’s Younus Khan (11th) and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardena (14th) are also expected to play.
Among the bowlers inside the top 20 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers likely to be seen in action are Saeed Ajmal (fifth), Rangana Herath (eighth), Abdur Rehman (14th) and Junaid Khan (17th).
For South Africa and Zimbabwe, South Africa’s AB de Villiers (first) and Hashim Amla (third) are the top-ranked batsmen expected to be seen in action, while Faf du Plessis (18th) is the other South Africa batsman inside the top 20. For Zimbabwe, captain Brendan Taylor (29th) is the highest ranked batsman.
South Africa’s Dale Steyn will start the one-off Test as the number-one ranked bowler, leading team mates Vernon Philander (fourth) and Morne Morkel (16th) as the players in the top 20 who are likely to be seen.
Forthcoming Test Fixtures:
England v India
7-11 August: Fourth Test, Old Trafford, Manchester
15-19 August: Fifth Test, The Oval, London
Sri Lanka v Pakistan
6-10 August: First Test, Galle
14-18 August: Second Test, Colombo
South Africa v Zimbabwe
9-13 August: One-off Test, Harare
Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 28 July, after the conclusion of Sri Lanka-South Africa series)
Rank Team Rating
1 South Africa 124
2 Australia 123
3 Pakistan 103
4 India 102
5 England 100
6 Sri Lanka 95
7 New Zealand 93
8 West Indies 74
9 Zimbabwe 40
10 Bangladesh 21
(Developed by David Kendix)