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Series win will make India No 2 Test team

cricket Updated: Dec 09, 2008 19:18 IST

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India would topple South Africa and occupy the number two slot in the ICC Test Championship table if they win the two-match Test series against England starting in Chennai on Thursday.

Even a 1-0 win against Kevin Pietersen's team would see India, currently third with 116 points, overtaking South Africa and recapture the second spot, a position they had briefly enjoyed after the 2-0 home series victory against Australia recently.

South Africa, however, will have an immediate opportunity to reclaim the place with a three-match series in Australia on the horizon, according to an ICC statement in Chennai on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a 2-0 win for England would help them overtake Sri Lanka to the fourth slot in the standings, which Australia lead with 130 points.

Among the batsmen, sixth placed Pietersen is the highest-ranked player participating in the India-England series and he can break back into the top five with a good display in these two matches.

For the four India batsmen in top 20 -- Virender Sehwag (10th), VVS Laxman (14th), Sachin Tendulkar (17th) and Gautam Gambhir (18th) -- it will be a good opportunity to climb up the ladder and make it to the top 10.

In bowling front, spinner Harbhajan Singh (7th), who is the only Indian figuring in top 10, will certainly try to put up good shows during the series while in-form left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan (20th) also can improve his standing.

Focus will also be on England's Monty Panesar, who with pitches expected to be helping the tweakers, will be keen to break into the top 10 from his current position in 11th.