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Indians on slippery ground

India would need to improve performance in the Test to avoid lower ICC rankings.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 22:25 IST

Humiliated in the one-day cricket series, India would need to put on a much improved display in the four Test matches against West Indies to avoid relegation in the Test rankings' ladder. The Indians are currently third, two points behind third-placed England in the LG ICC rankings.

If India succumb to Brian Lara's resurgent team, they stand to fall behind arch-rivals Pakistan, who will then take over the third place from the Indians.

Even a narrow 0-1 or 1-2 defeat in the series, starting today, would be a disaster for Rahul Dravid's team as they would be relegated to fourth spot, ironically just a couple of months after they appeared poised to assume second place.

Australia lead the Test rankings by a massive 18 points and if England avoid defeat in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, also starting today, they will gain at least one point, putting more pressure on India to stay within touching distance.

As West Indies are ranked eighth at the moment, 39 points behind India, Greg Chappell's charges need to make a clean sweep of the four-match series to boost their ratings.

A 4-0 success for India will lift it to 112 rating points and drop the West Indies to 70.

But history does not favour the visitors who have won only one series on Caribbean soil, that too way back in 1971.

However, if the West Indies can somehow conjure up a 4-0 win, it will lift them to 82 rating points, cutting the gap between them and seventh-placed Sri Lanka to just 13 points.