Dubai:For the first time since 2004, Australia runs the risk of falling behind India to fourth spot in ICC Test rankings if they lose the final Ashes match to England at the Oval.
Even a draw for Australia will mean that their long reign at the top will come to an end and South Africa move to the top, Sri Lanka to the second spot and India in the third position.
At present, India is placed fourth behind Sri Lanka, who both have 119 points with a few decimal points being the difference.
India has a chance to climb up to the second place if Australia loses to England and Sri Lanka wins 1-0 in the two-Test series against New Zealand, starting from Tuesday at Galle in Colombo.
If the Lankan team wins the series against the Kiwis 2-0, it will have a chance to climb up to the second place but then the Aussies should also lose the final Ashes Test at the Oval.
However, if Australia goes on to win the Oval Test, it will continue its perch on the top.
In another scenario, Sri Lanka could slide to the fourth slot if it only manages to win the series 1-0 over New Zealand and Australia goes on to beat England.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, Gautam Gambhir continues to be third placed while Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara looks to maintain his lead ahead of Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke with a strong series against New Zealand.
Sachin Tendulkar (14th), VVS Laxman (17th) and Virender Sehwag (18th) are the only other Indians featuring in the top-20 list.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, off spinner Harbhajan Singh (5th) is India's top ranked bowler followed by pacer Zaheer Khan (9th) and Ishant Sharma (20).
Current number two Muttiah Muralitharan will be hoping to take wickets and thus put pressure on the top-ranked Test bowler, South Africa's Dale Steyn.
Among the all-rounders, New Zealand's Daniel Vettori currently sits third in the rankings and will need a strong performance with both bat and ball to take on Australia's Mitchell Johnson in second and South Africa's Jacques Kallis in first place.