England will aim to narrow the gap with third-ranked Pakistan while Sri Lanka will target moving ahead of sixth-ranked South Africa in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings during the Test series between the two countries.
England currently sits in fourth position on 105 points (six behind Pakistan), while Sri Lanka is on 88 points in seventh spot (four behind South Africa). If England wins all the three Tests, then it will rise to 109 points (two behind Pakistan) while a 2-0 win will put it on 108 points (three behind Pakistan).
In contrast, Sri Lanka can move to as high as 98 points, but to make this happen, it will have to win all three Tests. In this scenario, there will be a three-way tie between New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka, but when the rankings are calculated beyond the decimal point, then New Zealand will be ranked fourth, England fifth and Sri Lanka sixth.
A 2-1 or 1-0 win will earn Sri Lanka six points, which will put it two points ahead of South Africa, while a 2-0 win will put the Asian side on 96 points.
This is the ninth time England is hosting Sri Lanka in a Test series. Of the previous eight series, England has won four, while Sri Lanka has triumphed twice, including a 1-0 win on the previous tour in 2014 with the 100-run victory coming at Headingley in the second and final Test.
Overall, England leads Sri Lanka 6-5 in 14 series, while in 28 Tests played between the two sides to date, England has won 10 against Sri Lanka’s eight.