Dubai: Australia has regained the number one spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship after defeating South Africa by 141 runs in the first ODI of the five-match series in Durban on Friday.
Australia, which surrendered its top position to the Proteas after stand-in captain Johan Botha inspired his side to 4-1 victory in Australia earlier this year, had started the series trailing Graeme Smith"s side by one ratings point. And such is the competitiveness at the top of the table that victory in the first ODI has given Australia a swing of three points as it now sits on 125 with South Africa on 123.
South Africa still has a chance to finish the series number one if it wins the series 3-2 or better. On the other hand, to return home with the number one tag, Australia needs to win the series 3-2 or better, while a 4-1 victory will put it on 127 ratings points and will drop South Africa to third position behind India on 121.
Meanwhile, England"s 3-2 victory over the West Indies has earned Andrew Strauss" side one ratings point as it closes the gap with fifth-placed Pakistan to just three. The West Indies has stayed in eighth position on 92.
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has slipped five places to 13th position in the latest Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen. Pietersen scored 80 runs in four innings during the five-match series at an average of 20.00.
Pietersen"s fall has pushed other players up the rankings with Ricky Ponting of Australia, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and India"s Sachin Tendulkar gaining two places each in the latest rankings.
The batting chart is still headed by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni followed by Michael Hussey of Australia in second place and West Indies" Chris Gayle in third.
Pietersen"s team-mate Stuart Broad is another player to lose ground in the latest rankings as he drops five places to 12th spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers.
Australia"s Mitchell Johnson gains three places to seventh position in the bowling rankings while James Hopes has moved up five places to 13th spot. Another bowler to make a significant move is South Africa vice-captain Johan Botha who gains three places and breaks into the top 10 on the highest rating of his career to date.
The leading bowler is still Nuwan Kulasekara of Sri Lanka, followed closely by Black Cap Kyle Mills, Sri Lanka"s Muttiah Muralidaran and another New Zealander Daniel Vettori, who each gain one place as Australia"s Nathan Bracken slips up.
The top of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders remain unchanged with Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh still leading the way from England"s Andrew Flintoff in second.