Dubai, Dec 14: Apart from salvaging lost pride, a Test series win over South Africa will also propel Team India to the third spot in the LG ICC Test Championship table.
Rahul Dravid's side can leap-frog rivals Pakistan by putting its poor one-day form, which saw it lose 0-4 to South Africa, behind it this week. If the Indians win by one Test against Proteas, they will instantly draw level with arch-rivals Pakistan in third place on 112 ratings points.
And if India win the series 2-0 or 3-0, it will leap-frog Pakistan and then have second-placed England in its sights. A drawn or lost series, however, will see it lose ratings points and slip away from Inzamam-ul Haq's side where it could get caught by the chasing Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, England goes into the third Ashes Test in the WACA today lying well adrift of Australia which has now been sitting on top of the Test Championship since June 2003.
And that doesn't look like changing any time soon as the Australians take a 2-0 lead into the Perth Test and even if it ends up losing the series 2-3, it will still remain at the top.
Australia's trans-Tasmanian rivals New Zealand can draw level with Sri Lanka at fifth place in the table if they beat Mahela Jayawardene's team at Wellington, starting tomorrow.
The Black Caps are currently seventh but if they continue their winning ways they could go above South Africa and draw level with Sri Lanka.
New Zealand won the first Test at Christchurch by five wickets in just three days.
For Sri Lanka, wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara is in fine form and has moved up two places to seventh in the latest Rankings for Test batsmen following his unbeaten century in the second innings at Christchurch. Ricky Ponting is still top of the Rankings for Test batsmen and he needs just three more ratings points to go above England legend Len Hutton to be second in the all-time list behind perhaps the greatest of them all, Don Bradman.
Despite defeat in the first Test, Sri Lanka's talismanic spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has strengthened his position at the top of the Rankings for Test bowlers with seven wickets in the match.
Muralitharan is the only bowler to have more than 900 ratings points and one of just three -- the others being Makhaya Ntini and Glenn McGrath -- to have topped 800 in the current list.
New Zealander Shane Bond is the big mover at the top end of that list, having moved up three places to joint fifth with England's Matthew Hoggard. Like Muralitharan, Bond took seven wickets at Christchurch.
Bond's team-mate Daniel Vettori has moved above South African Shaun Pollock into third spot in the Rankings for Test all-rounders.
Top 10 Teams: 1.Australia (130), 2.England (119), 3.Pakistan (112), 4.India (111), 5.Sri Lanka (103), 6.South Africa (94), 7.New Zealand (92), 8.West Indies (72), 9.Zimbabwe (28), 10.Bangladesh (2) Top 10 Batsmen: 1.Ricky Ponting (Aus,942), 2.Mohd Yousuf (Pak,933), 3.Rahul Dravid (Ind,882), 4.Kevin Pietersen (Eng,856), 5.Jacques Kallis (SA, 815), 6.Mike Hussey (Aus,814), 7.Kumar Sangakkara (SL,807), 8.Brian Lara (WI,801), 9.Younis Khan (Pak,786), 10.Matthew Hayden (Aus,756) Top 10 Bowlers: 1.Muttiah Muralitharan (SL,908), 2.Makhaya Ntini (SA,830), 3.Glenn McGrath (Aus,818), 4.Shane Warne (Aus,793), 5.Matthew Hoggard (Eng,761), 5.Shane Bond (NZ,761), 7.Andrew Flintoff (Eng,749), 8.Anil Kumble (Ind,736), 9.Shoaib Akhtar (Pak,700), 10.Corey Collymore (WI,690) Top 5 All-rounders: 1.Jacques Kallis (SA,466), 2.Andrew Flintoff (Eng,416), 3.Daniel Vettori (NZ,315), 4.Shaun Pollock (SA,296), 5.Irfan Pathan (Ind,270)