The ICC Champions Trophy 2008 will run from 12 to 28 September and Sri Lanka is in group B with South Africa, New Zealand and England while India is with Australia, Pakistan and the West Indies in Group A.
While the series will provide the two teams an opportunity to get in the one-day mode for the second biggest tournament after the ICC Cricket World Cup, plenty is at stake for the two teams in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship with fourth-placed India having the chance to leapfrog New Zealand into third place while seventh-placed Sri Lanka can climb three places to fourth position.
On the other side of the coin, India could drop to as low as seventh if it loses all its matches while Sri Lanka could finish behind the West Indies in eighth place on 98 points if it fails to win a match in the series.
Here are the potential scenarios:
If India wins the series 5-0, it will go ahead of New Zealand on 118 ratings points and Sri Lanka will drop to 98 ratings points and eighth position on the ladder, If India wins 4-1, it will stay in fourth place but will reduce the gap with New Zealand to one ratings point while Sri Lanka will slip to 101 ratings points
If India wins 3-2, both the teams will maintain their positions but India will gain one ratings point
If Sri Lanka wins 3-2, it will leapfrog England to share fourth place with India and Pakistan on 110 points. However, India will stay fourth, Pakistan fifth and Sri Lanka sixth when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point
If Sri Lanka wins by 5-0, it will share joint-third position with New Zealand on 116 ratings points but will remain behind the Black Caps when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point. In that case, India will slip to seventh place on 105 ratings points.
In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is within touching distance of top spot. Dhoni was on top of the batting list for a week in April 2006 and has only South Africa"s Graeme Smith ahead of him.
Sixth-placed Sachin Tendulkar is likely to lose ground after an elbow injury has sidelined him for the ODI series. A player loses one per cent of his rating for missing every match which means a good series by Sri Lanka"s 10th-placed Kumar Sangakkara could cause some reshuffling in the top 10.
Yuvraj Singh (15th) and Gautam Gambhir (19th) are the other India batsmen in the top 20. Both are well placed to move upwards if they perform well in the forthcoming matches.Sri Lanka"s Sanath Jayasuriya (15th) also has a top 10 spot firmly within his sights.
In the Reliance Mobile Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Sri Lanka"s iconic spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is the highest-ranked bowler from either side in fourth place while his team-mate Chaminda Vaas is in fifth spot.
Farveez Maharoof (17th) is likely to slip in the rankings after the selectors decided against rushing him back for the India series despite including him in the ICC Champions Trophy squad. Maharoof is recovering from a side strain.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is the highest ranked India bowler in 24th position and is well placed to enter the top 20. Fast bowlers Zaheer Khan (35th), RP Singh (46th) and Praveen Kumar (49th) are the other India bowlers in top 50 who will be eyeing an upward movement.Australia"s Nathan Bracken leads the list from New Zealand"s Daniel Vettori.
In the Reliance Mobile Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders, Jayasuriya is in seventh place and has a good opportunity to break into the top five. The list is headed by Pakistan"s Shoaib Malik with Vettori in second place.