The series may be won and lost, many players involved may already have found their thoughts drifting towards next week’s IPL auction, but there is plenty to play for when Australia take on South Africa tomorrow in Perth. There’s pride, of course, and individuals will want to stake their claims for continued inclusion, but there’s another factor – if South Africa win, they will topple Australia from the top of the ODI world rankings.
We’ve been here before, of course, with the Test series – Australia managed a win in Syndey to hold onto top spot on that occasion. South Africa look likely to rest the likes of Steyn and Kallis, whilst Ntini has flown home following a family car accident, so the home side may be more motivated than the tourist. Whatever happens, the return series in South Africa is only a month away, so any relative cessation of hostilities will be brief.