Dubai:MS Dhoni led India will go into the seven-match ODI home series against Australia with a gilt-edged opportunity to rise as high as second in the ICC rankings, while the visitors are in serious danger of surrendering their pole position.
Currently placed sixth, India will have to sustain the momentum generated by their triumph in the just-concluded Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa to move up the rankings ladder.
If India, on 108 points, manage to sweep the series, they would gain 10 points and in the process leapfrog New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to second behind South Africa, with Australia dropping from 129 to 116.
Ricky Ponting's men, who regained the number one ranking from South Africa during the ICC World Cup in the West Indies, could drop as low as third in that case, according to an ICC statement.
A 6-1 or 5-2 series victory for Dhoni in his first series as India's ODI captain would mean Australia losing top position to South Africa while India would move to third place.
A 4-3 win would lift India to fifth while Australia would be left on the same mark as South Africa, on 124 points, but would retain top spot when the ratings are calculated to three decimal places.