India has retained the number one position on the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table after the annual update and is now 11 ratings points clear of South Africa.
By virtue of earning a draw in the second Test against Sri Lanka, India has also ensured that it will still be on top of the table following the conclusion of the current series irrespective of how the third Test pans out. The result of Sri Lanka and India Test series will only reflect on the table at the end of the final Test on 7 August as the Test Championship can only be updated at the end of each series.
The annual update of both the Reliance Mobile ICC Test and ODI Championship tables take place so that both lists continue to reflect recent form with older results being discarded.
The Test table reflects all Test series that were completed since August 2007. All series played until the start of next August will be added to this table, so by then the ratings will be based on four years of results, with series completed within the last two years carrying greater weight.
Next August the first year of results will be dropped and this pattern is repeated each August, with the oldest of the four years of results removed to be gradually replaced with results of series completed over the following 12 months. Thus, once a year, the Test rankings change overnight without any new series being completed.
India has hugely benefitted from the annual update as it has gained six ratings points to jump from 124 ratings points to 130, 11 ahead of its closest rival South Africa which had dropped one ratings point to 119.
However, India's 11-point lead at the top will be short-lived following its failure to win its current series in Sri Lanka.
If India wins the third Test, which starts at P.Sara' Oval, Colombo, on Tuesday 3 August to draw the series at one-all, it will drop to 127 ratings points, while Sri Lanka will move into third place on 115 rating points, ahead of both Australia and England.
If the Test is drawn, India will slip to 124 ratings points, just five points ahead of both South Africa and Sri Lanka. However, Kumar Sangakkara's side will be placed just below Graeme Smith's side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
Another defeat for India will not only see it plummet to 122 ratings points but will lift Sri Lanka to 121 ratings points and into second position on the Test Championship for only the second time since the current Test ranking system was introduced in 2003.
Sri Lanka had previously claimed second spot on the Test Championship in late August last year following a series win over New Zealand and stayed there until it lost 2-0 to India in December.
Australia, which fell from the top spot just after the annual update last year after losing The Ashes, has stayed in third position but has dropped from 116 ratings points to 113 ratings, just two ratings points ahead of England, which has gained one place after recording the second best ratings performance in the past 12 months behind India.
England, which started in its four-Test series against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Thursday, has been rewarded for its last year's consistency by earning three ratings points which puts it on 111 ratings points.
As England leads seventh-placed Pakistan by 27 ratings points, this gap means Andrew Strauss's side is expected to win the series convincingly. As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, failure to win will mean England will drop points.
While a 3-0 or 4-0 series win will put England just ahead of Australia, a series win by just one Test (1-0 or 2-1) will drop it on 110 ratings points while a drawn series will put it on 108 ratings points.
If Pakistan wins all the four Tests of the series, both the sides will be locked on 101 ratings points but England will be placed higher after the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point. A narrower 1-0 or 2-1 series win for Pakistan will mean England falls to 105 ratings points while Pakistan climbs to 94 ratings points.
The result of England and Pakistan Test series will reflect on the table at the end of the final Test on 31 August.
To see how England and Pakistan Test series results might affect the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table, check out the predictor function on the ICC website at http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/match_zone/test_predictor.php
Meanwhile in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship, Australia has not only retained its number one position but has also gained one rating point after the annual update which has put it 14 points clear of its closest rival India, which has moved ahead of South Africa into second place.
The annual update is carried out to ensure the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship table continues to reflect recent form with older results being discarded. As such, the new table only includes results from matches played after 1 August 2008.
Graeme Smith's side, which was tied with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side on 119 ratings points before the annual update, has slipped to 115 ratings points after some excellent results it had achieved in 2006-07 have now dropped off the rankings calculations.
This means only four ratings points now separate third-placed South Africa from sixth-placed Sri Lanka while Pakistan continues to occupy seventh position even though it has dropped to 98 ratings points.
This middle section of the table, which also includes New Zealand in fourth position and England in fifth spot, is likely to change in the next couple of months as Sri Lanka hosts India and New Zealand in a triangular series from 10 August while England takes on Pakistan in a five-match ODI series from 10 September.
The triangular series, which will conclude in Dambulla on 29 August, will be the first one to be rated under the updated Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship table.
Even though ninth-ranked Bangladesh has stayed behind the West Indies, Mashrafe Mortaza's side now trails Chris Gayle's side by only 14 ratings points as compared to 19 points before the annual update.
There is some excellent news for the Netherlands which has earned the right to a place in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship after achieving an ODI win against a Full Member and also having won more than 60 per cent of its matches against other Associate Members.
The Dutch, which defeated Bangladesh by six wickets at Titwood in Glasgow earlier this month, have entered in 12th position (one ahead of Kenya) and are just behind Zimbabwe and Ireland which are sitting on 10th and 11th positions respectively.
The Netherlands' promotion into the Championship table is a reflection of the tremendous success of ICC's Development Programme as it becomes the third Associate Member after Ireland and Kenya to join the 10 Full Members.
Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table (after annual update on 30 July. In brackets is rating points before the annual update)
Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship table (after annual update on 30 July. In brackets is rating points before the annual update)
|2||South Africa||119 (120)|
|5||Sri Lanka ||111 (115)|
|7||West Indies||79 (77)|
|8||New Zealand||78 (80)|
|4||New Zealand||114 (114)|
|6||Sri Lanka||111 (109)|
|8||West Indies||67 (71)|
|12||Netherlands||32 (new entry)|
|13||Kenya ||0 (0)|
(Developed by David Kendix)