Dubai:Australia runs the risk of losing its third rank in the ICC Test Championship table, if it fails to beat Pakistan comprehensively in the three-Test series, beginning with the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
Australia start the series with a difference of 33 rating points relative to sixth-placed Pakistan and a 2-0 win will keep it on 116 ratings points while a clean sweep will earn it two ratings points.
A 1-0 or 2-1 series win will drop it to 115 points and behind Sri Lanka when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
On the other side of the coin, Pakistan's series win will severely dent Australia's hopes of narrowing the gap with the front-runners.
A 1-0 or 2-1 series win for Pakistan will drop Australia to 110 ratings points, and if the home team suffers three consecutive defeats it will slip to 107 ratings points, just two ahead of fifth-placed England which is involved in a four-Test series against South Africa.
In the Player rankings for Test batsman, India's Gautam Gambhir continued to head the table with Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardena in the second spot and his captain Kumar Sangakkara third.