Dubai:Fresh after claiming the number one Test spot, India can narrow the gap with ODI table-topper Australia if they win the one-day series against Sri Lanka but they also risk going down the list if they lose the five-match series starting in Rajkot on Tuesday.
In the individual rankings, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has to perform very well to defend the number-one spot in batting list while Yuvraj Singh can return to the top-three and Virender Sehwag can regain a top 10 spot with some stellar performance in the series.
India is currently second with 122 ratings points, eight behind Australia, but can reduce the gap to four points if they manage to win all five matches of the series. On the other hand, the side under Dhoni can also only drop a position if they lose the series 1-4 or worse.
If India lose the series 1-4, they will drop to 117 ratings points, two behind South Africa, while a 0-5 defeat will put it on par with Kumar Sangakkara's side on 115 ratings point but behind Sri Lanka when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
While India will be aiming to get closer to Australia, Sri Lanka will be attempting to improve their current seventh position and to make it happen, the Lankans will have to win the series by 3-2 or better.
A 3-2 series win will put Sri Lanka ahead of Pakistan while a 4-1 series win will place it before New Zealand and England on the ODI Championship table. A clean sweep will lift them to third position.
Dhoni, meanwhile, is feeling the heat from Australia's Michael Hussey as only 16 points separates the two batsmen. Dhoni will have to perform consistently well in the series with the bat to defend his number-one position which he has been occupying since January.
Apart from Dhoni, India boasts Yuvraj Singh (7th), Sachin Tendulkar (8th), Virender Sehwag (11th) and Gautam Gambhir (19th) inside the top 20.
The foursome are well-placed to move up the order with Yuvraj in sight of a return to the top three and Sehwag within touching distance of a place inside the top 10.
In the rankings for bowlers, Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara is the highest-ranked bowler from either side in fourth position.
A good series with the ball will potentially see him reclaim the number-one spot from New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori whom he trails by 32 points.
The other bowlers inside the top 20 from either side are spinners with India's Harbhajan Singh in 11th position and Sri Lanka pair of Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan in 13th and 14th spots respectively.
In the rankings for all-rounders, Yuvraj is the highest-ranked player from either side in third place.