Sri Lanka is presently sitting in third position, just a fraction of a point behind India, while South Africa is on equal points with England but is ranked fifth when ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
This means the side that wins the series is guaranteed to improve its ranking on the ODI table.
If Sri Lanka wins the series 2-1, it will claim sole possession of second position with 113 ratings points, while a 3-0 victory will put Sri Lanka on 114 ratings points. In both the scenarios, South Africa will retain its fifth position.
On the other side of the coin, a 2-1 win for South Africa will put both the sides on 111 ratings points each. But Sri Lanka will be ranked third while South Africa will be ranked fourth, two ratings points ahead of fifth-ranked England.
However, if South Africa wins all the three matches of the series, then it will earn four ratings points to leapfrog India into second position, while Sri Lanka will slip to fourth position, just on ratings point ahead of England.
Meanwhile, South Africa captain AB de Villiers is holding on to the number-one position in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen. He is only four ratings points ahead of Indias second-ranked Virat Kohli. Because the gap is so small, de Villiers is expected to perform consistently in the series to avoid slipping behind the India batsman.
Hashim Amla (fourth), Kumar Sangakkara (fifth) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (seventh) and Quinton de Kock (13th) feature inside the top 20.
Just outside the top 20 are JP Duminy (22nd), Angelo Matthews (24th), Mahela Jayawardena (34th) and Jacques Kallis (36th).
Dale Steyn is the highest-ranked bowler from either side in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers in second position. He trails Pakistans Saeed Ajmal by 45 points.
Bowlers outside the top 10 and likely to be seen in action during the series are Sachitra Senanayake (13th), Rangana Herath (14th), Ryan McLaren (20th), Angelo Matthews (21st), Lasith Malinga (22nd), Nuwan Kulasekara (27th), Suranga Lakmal (48th), Wyane Parnell (52nd) and Thisara Perera (56th).
In the Reliance ICC ODI All-Rounders list, third-ranked Mathews trails number-one ranked Mohammad Hafeez by 46 ratings points. Bangladeshs Shakib Al Hasan is in third spot.
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