ICC ODI Championships February 12, 2007

South Africa threaten Australia's No. 1 ranking

Cricinfo staff



Michael Hussey will lead Australia in New Zealand, where they must win to retain their No. 1 place © Getty Images

South Africa can become the first team to topple Australia from the top spot in the ICC's ODI rankings if they beat Pakistan in the final one-dayer at Johannesburg and if Australia lose the upcoming Chappell-Hadlee series in New Zealand. Australia have been ranked No. 1 since the current rankings were introduced in 2002.

South Africa are on 127 points, three behind Australia. If they beat Pakistan on Wednesday they will move up to 128. They have hit excellent one-day form since failing to make the finals of the tri-series in Australia in 2005-06, with home series wins over Australia, Zimbabwe and India and qualifying for the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.

If Australia lose the Chappell-Hadlee series, for which they have rested Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, they will drop down to second place and New Zealand will move up to third. England remain seventh despite beating Australia 2-0 in the CB Series finals. India could slip from fifth to sixth if they lose the remaining two ODIs of the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.

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