AS SRI Lanka prepare to host New Zealand for the first Test of a two-match series in Galle and Colombo, Kumar Sangakkara's men will want to keep a close eye on the result of the final Ashes Test match in England.
If Sri Lanka win their series against the Black Caps 2-0 they have the opportunity to go second in the Reliance Mobile Test Championship, but this can only happen if Australia lose the final Ashes Test at the Oval.
If Australia win the final Test against England they will stay on top but defeat at the Oval could mean slipping to fourth in the Test Championship.
This would put South Africa on top, Sri Lanka second and India third in the rankings. And even a draw will mean Australia's long reign at the top will come to an end.
But Sri Lanka could fall to fourth should they secure only a 1-0 victory over New Zealand and Australia beat England.
On the other hand, if Sri Lanka win the series 1-0 and Australia lose to England then India would rise above Sri Lanka to assume second place. So there are several permutations that could play out, indicating just how close it is at the top of the Test Championship at present.
Meanwhile, in the ICC player rankings for Test batsmen, Sangakkara will look to maintain his lead ahead of Australian vice captain Michael Clarke with a strong series against New Zealand. - Sapa