England will become No.1 in all three formats-the Test, one-day and Twenty20 games-if they beat Australia 5-0 in the ODI series, but Michael Clarke is confident about not relinquishing their place at the top of the rankings and is keen to pull off a surprise series win.
The 5-0 series whitewash will allow England to become the first team ever to be ranked at the top of international cricket's three formats.
"It's important for us to play well and hopefully stay No.1. Our goal as an Australian cricket team in all three forms is to be No.1 in the world. I hope we can play some good cricket here in England and stay there," Clarke said at Lord's.
England skipper Alistair Cook is also not entertaining the thought of a clean sweep either, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"Let's not get too carried away. It would be an amazing achievement (to be No.1 in three formats) but I don't want to get quoted saying stuff that gets blown out of proportion. We're desperate to keep going up the rankings but let's not get too caried away," he said.
The Australian batsmen will have to face England attack of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan, plus spinner Graeme Swann to hold onto the series.
"They've had a lot of success in both Test and one-day cricket. It's no coincidence that the attack plays a big part in their results. They know the conditions as well as any team I guess. That's probably why they've won the last six series because they know the conditions so well. It's going to be a good test for our batters but it's a good opportunity to see where we're at," Clarke said.
Australia has a large contingent of fast bowlers of their own - there are six in the touring party, in fact - and all will get a run at some of the series, which continues at the Oval, then Edgaston, Durham and Old Trafford.