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December 22, 2007
England may have drawn the final Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, but the 1-0 series loss meant they slipped from second to fifth in the LG ICC Test Championship table.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have jumped up two places from fifth to third; had they won in Galle, they would have replaced England in second position.
"Those stats don't lie," admitted Michael Vaughan, England's captain. "We got to No. 2 in the world because we beat most teams in the world. "We're No. 5 in the world because we lost to Australia and we've only got 20 wickets once in our last 14 Tests away from home."
England's slip results in South Africa becoming the No. 2 team in the rankings for both Tests and ODIs, behind Australia. With upcoming series between South Africa and West Indies and Australia and India beginning on Boxing Day, the rankings could well change before the year ends.
There is stiff competition among the teams placed second to fifth, with South Africa, Sri Lanka and fourth-placed India all on 109, only separated by fractions of a ratings point, while England are close on their heels at 107.
However, top-ranked Australia remain the runaway leaders, and even a 4-0 loss to India at home won't see them lose the No. 1 spot.
In the players rankings, Kumar Sangakkara, who had displaced Ricky Ponting at the top of the list for Test batsmen after the first Test in Kandy, has fallen to third place. Ponting regains first place, but will have to battle with No. 2 Jacques Kallis to retain the position, with both players involved in series that begin on Boxing Day.
Mahela Jayawardene, who won the series prize for his 474 runs against England, is now up to sixth place, ahead of Kevin Pietersen, who has slipped to seventh.
Among the bowlers, Muttiah Muralitharan continues his reign at the top, while Matthew Hoggard drops three places to ninth.
|South Africa||33||109||Sri Lanka||32||109|
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