Next year's Cricket World Cup will decide the kings of the 50-over game whatever happens in the race to top the ICC world rankings between now and then, according to Australia captain Michael Clarke.
Australia top the rankings going into Sunday's triangular series match against Zimbabwe in Harare but, depending on results, could be overhauled this week by India or South Africa, who they face on Tuesday.
Clarke believes that the definitive ruling on the best one-day side will not come until Australia and New Zealand host the World Cup from February 14-March 29 next year.
‘That's what dictates it’
"Whoever wins that tournament will be seen as the No 1 One-day team in the world," Clarke told the Cricket Australia website in Zimbabwe.
"That's the way I've always looked at One-day rankings. I guess you love being No 1 in any form of the game but ... you get a great indicator who is the No 1 team in the world in six months time playing in a World Cup.
"That's what dictates it."
Australia, who won the World Cup in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007, recently lost their brief grip on the number one test ranking to the Proteas.
South Africa's best showing at the World Cup was a semi-final appearance in the 1999 tournament, when they bowed out despite a tied last four match against the Australians because of their inferior run rate in the Super Six stage.