Dubai, Feb 25 (IANS) India have taken an outright lead on top of the ICC ODI rankings with 119 ratings points.
With India and Australia not scheduled to play any ODIs before the April 1 cut-off date, fourth-placed South Africa are the only side that can push India and England down the order when they take on Pakistan in a five-ODI series from March 10.
England's 2-1 win in the three-match series against New Zealand have not only given them a perfect build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy which is just 100 days away, it has also kept them on course for finishing second in the ODI Championship Table at the April 1 cut-off date.
England's come-from-behind series win means they have retained second place but have dropped two ratings points to lead third-ranked Australia by just one ratings point and fourth-ranked South Africa by five ratings points.
The only way South Africa can leapfrog England and add another $75,000 to their account is by beating Pakistan 4-1 or better. If South Africa win 4-1, then the Proteas will join England on 117 ratings points but will be ranked above Alastair Cook's side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
If South Africa make a clean sweep of the ODI series, then they will jump three places to claim top spot.