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Lankan win against Poms will push India to No. 2 in Test rankings

Written by: Staff
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Dubai, May 10 (UNI) Rahul Dravid and his team mates will be praying for Sri Lanka's win in the three-match series against England as the Islanders' victory would see India toppling the Poms from the second spot without playing at all.

A draw in the three-match series would be enough for Sri Lanka to move above New Zealand into the sixth spot and if they win the series, that would have an impact at the top end of the table.

That scenario would drop England to third place, allowing India to move above it into the second position without playing.

But under Andrew Flintoff's inspiring leadership, England will surely be out to close the gap on Australia in LG ICC Test Championship table when the first Test against Sri Lanka starts at the Lord's tomorrow.

England is currently 18 rating points behind Ricky Ponting's line-up but it can cut that to 15 points with a clean-sweep, and even victory by one Test (1-0 or 2-1) will lift it a point closer to Australia.

Though there is plenty at stake over the next month but both sides are heading to Lord's missing key personnel.

England is without its injured captain Michael Vaughan and will be led by Flintoff, who this week took over from South Africa's Jacques Kallis as the world's top Test all-rounder in the LG ICC Player Rankings.

And Vaughan is not the only injury victim for the home side. It is also without a host of bowlers from the top section of the LG ICC Player Rankings with Stephen Harmison (14th), Simon Jones (23rd), Ashley Giles (33rd) and James Anderson (45th) all missing.

On the plus side of the ledger, England can still boast two bowlers in the top 10 with Matthew Hoggard -- just three wickets short of 200 in Tests -- in fifth place and Flintoff one spot below him.

And they have four batsmen in the top 30, the highest ranked among them Marcus Trescothick in 10th position and now restored to the line-up after missing the series in India because of personal problems.

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