In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has an opportunity to reclaim the coveted number-one batting spot which is currently shared by Sachin Tendulkar of India and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.
Sangakkara, who first achieved the top position in December 2007, trails Tendulkar and Kallis by just one ratings point and a good performance in Cardiff will certainly allow him to regain the spot he lost earlier this year on 6 January after the Cape Town Test in which the Indian icon scored 146 and 14 not out to move up by one place and the South African maestro hit 161 and 109 not out to jump four places.
Besides Sangakkara, the other batsmen inside the top 10 from either side include Jonathan Trott (fourth), Alastair Cook (fifth), Mahela Jayawardena (seventh) and Thilan Samaraweera (10th).
Sitting outside the top 20 are Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Strauss and Matt Prior who all will be aiming for upward movements.
In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, England boasts three bowlers inside the top 10 – Graeme Swann (second), James Anderson (third) and Stuart Broad (10th) – while Sri Lanka’s highest-ranked bowler is Ajantha Mendis (16th) and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath is four places behind in 16th position.
The schedule of the series is:
26-30 May – First Test, Cardiff
3-7 June – Second Test, Lord’s
16-20 June – Third Test, Southampton