Pakistan challenges Sri Lanka for fourth place in Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table

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Dubai, July 2 (ANI): Following victory over Sri Lanka in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 2009 at Lord's last month, Pakistan aims to carry that momentum into the three-Test series against Sri Lanka starting at Galle on Saturday as it targets fourth place in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table.

Pakistan currently sits in sixth place on 100 ratings points, one ratings point behind fifth-placed England and eight ratings points behind fourth-placed Sri Lanka.

However, a 1-0 or 2-1 series win for Younus Khan's side will be enough to put it on 105 ratings points alongside Sri Lanka but ahead of Kumar Sangakkara's side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

The following are the scenarios:

If Pakistan wins the series 1-0 or 2-1, it will join Sri Lanka on 105 ratings points but it will be placed ahead of Sri Lanka in fourth position by a fraction of a point

If Pakistan wins the series 2-0, it will go into fourth position on 107 rating points while Sri Lanka will slip to 103 ratings points

If Pakistan wins the series 3-0, it will jump to 109 ratings points while Sri Lanka will drop to 102 ratings points

- If the series ends in a 1-1 draw, Pakistan will join England on 101 ratings points but will be placed ahead of England in fifth place by a fraction of point while Sri Lanka will go to 107 ratings points

If Sri Lanka wins the series 1-0, it will go to 110 ratings points while Pakistan will drop to 97 ratings points

If Sri Lanka wins the series 2-0, it will go to 111 ratings points while Pakistan will drop to 95 ratings points

If Sri Lanka wins the series 3-0, it will go to 113 ratings points, just four ratings points behind third-placed India, while Pakistan will slip to 93 ratings points and just eight ratings points ahead of seventh-placed the West Indies

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, Younus Khan is in number-one position and will be aiming to become the 25th batsman in history to reach the 900-point mark.

The 31-year-old right-handed batsman is just 20 points short of becoming the second Pakistan batsman after Mohammd Yousuf to achieve the rare distinction.

Younus had first gone to the top of the batting chart after scoring 313 against Sri Lanka in Karachi in February before regaining the number-one position from Shivanarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies in May.

Conversely, if Younus fails to perform to his high standards and at the same time second-placed Kumar Sangakkara excels with the bat, there is a possibility that there might be a change at the top of the order as 26 points separates the two elegant and stylish batsmen.

The other batsmen from either side in the top 20 and aiming for an upward movement are Mahela Jayawardena and Thilan Samaraweera who currently occupy sixth position and 19th positions respectively while just outside the top 20 are Tillakaratne Dilshan (24th), Kamran Akmal (28th) and Misbah-ul-Haq (30th).

Mohammad Yousuf, who won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy as the 2007 Cricketer of the Year at the LG ICC Awards in Johannesburg, is set to return to the batting rankings in the top five. If he performs well with the bat, he will go to third position or even higher.

Yousuf was second when he was removed from the rankings table along with Abdul Razzaq early in 2009 as Pakistan had not played a Test match since before the qualification date for the rankings. A player loses one per cent of his points for each Test that he misses for his country and his ratings are still calculated even when he does not appear in the rankings.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Player Rankings for bowlers, Sri Lanka's iconic spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is just ahead of South Africa's Dale Steyn and will be hoping to extend the advantage over the Proteas' fast bowler.

With just 11 points separating the two bowlers, Steyn can regain the number-one position he last held in April 2008 if Muralidaran fails to put up a strong performance in the first Test.

Umar Gul is the highest-ranked Pakistan bowler in 14th spot with leg-spinner Danish Kaneria in 19th position.

Sri Lanka's spin sensation Ajantha Mendis is in 25th position and has a good chance of breaking into the top 20 for the first time in his career even though he is still in the rankings qualification period for bowlers. A bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets and the 24-year-old from Moratuwa has so far taken 34 wickets in six Tests.

South Africa's Jacques Kallis leads the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Player Rankings for all-rounders, followed by Johnson in second and New Zealand's Daniel Vettori in third. (ANI)

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