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Fourth-ranked Sri Lanka can hope to move up a place to third on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings table if it beats Pakistan in a five-match ODI series, starting on 18 December in Sharjah.
But for that to happen, Sri Lanka (110 ratings points) will need to win the series against sixth-placed Pakistan (100 ratings points) by 4-1 or better. Irrespective of the outcome of the series, Pakistan will remain in sixth position.
In a sharp contrast, if Pakistan wins the series then Sri Lanka will drop down to fifth place.
The closest Pakistan will come to Sri Lanka would be if it sweeps the series 5-0. In such a scenario, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be on par with 105 ratings points, but Angelo Mathews’ side will be ranked above Misbah-ul-Haq’s men when ratings are calculated beyond decimal point.
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.
Meanwhile, fifth-ranked Kumar Sangakkara will start the series as the highest-ranked batsman on either side on theReliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen.
The only other batsmen on either side inside the top 20 are Tillakratne Dilshan in seventh and Misbah-ul-Haq in ninth.
Outside the top 20, the other batsmen likely to be seen in action are Mahela Jayawardena in 22nd, Umar Akmal in 27th, Mohammad Hafeez in 34th, Angelo Mathews in 36th, Ahmed Shehzad in 44th, Dinesh Chandimal in 47th, Lahiru Thirimanne in 52nd and Shahid Afridi in 54th.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers leads the batting table with India’s Virat Kohli in second place and Hashim Amla in third position.
Meanwhile, Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal starts the series as the number-one ranked bowler on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers.
In the absence of sixth-ranked Rangana Herath, Saeed Ajmal will be the only bowler on either side to feature inside the top 10.
Other bowlers sitting inside the top 20 include Mohammad Hafeez in 12th, Nuwan Kulasekara in 16th and Junaid Khan in 19th.
Outside the top 20, bowlers likely to play are Mathews in 23rd, Shahid Afridi in 29th, Lasith Malinga in 30th, Ajantha Mendis in 45th, Thisara Perera in 47th, Abdur Rehman in 53rd, Tillakaratne Dilshan in 54th and Sachitra Senanayake in 59th.
Pakistan v Sri Lanka
18 Dec: First ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
20 Dec: Second ODI, Dubai (d/n)
22 De: Third ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
25 Dec: Fourth ODI, Abu Dhabi (d/n)
27 Dec: Fifth ODI, Abu Dhabi (d/n)
Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 16 December before Pakistan-Sri Lanka series)