The two-Test series between Sri Lanka and South Africa starts in Galle on Wednesday with the tourists in with a chance to reclaim their number-one position on the Reliance ICC Test Team Table. To regain the spot which South Africa lost to Australia after the annual update on 1 May, it needs to win the series which will be enough to put Hashim Amla’s men ahead of Michael Clarke’s charges. In this scenario, South Africa will move one ratings point ahead of Australia, while a 2-0 series win will put the visitors on 126 ratings points.
On the other hand, if Sri Lanka wins the series then it will leapfrog England into fifth position while a 2-0 win will mean it will finish ahead of Pakistan and England in fourth spot. The series will feature the top three batsmen in the world – number-one ranked AB De Villiers, second-ranked Kumar Sangakkara and third-ranked Hashim Amla – and two of the three best bowlers – number-one ranked Dale Steyn and third-ranked Vernon Philander.
Meanwhile, Joe Root has become England’s highest-ranked batsman in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after hitting his fourth century of his career in the Trent Bridge Test against India, which ended in a draw on Sunday. The 23-year-old from Yorkshire scored a fine 154 not out and featured in a record 198-run last wicket stand with James Anderson (81). For this achievement, Root, who represented England in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2010 in New Zealand, has been rewarded with a jump of 10 places which has put him in a career-high 16th position.
For India, opener Murali Vijay has shown upward movement. The 30-year-old from Chennai scored 146 and 52 and has jumped 12 places to 30th position. In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, England’s Stuart Broad and India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the biggest movers. Broad returned match figures of four for 103, which has helped him rise four places to 10th position. Kumar picked up five for 82 in England’s only innings which has allowed him to break into the top 50 for the first time in his career. He now sits in 46th spot after jumping 27 places.