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Home Cook cool on no. 1 status
Alastair Cook is content with the progress his ODI side are making but played down the prospect of replacing opponents Australia at the top ranked side.
England, who have recorded six consecutive home ODI series victories, need an unlikely 5-0 series whitewash to overtake their rivals as the number one ranked side in the world.
Should England manage to achieve it, they would become the top ranked side in all three formats of the game, just over a year after being dumped out of the ICC World Cup at the quarter-final stage and losing Andrew Strauss as captain.
"It would be an amazing achievement," said the 27-year-old.
"But I don’t want to get quoted saying anything which gets blown out of proportion. We’re very much a developing side and we’re desperate to keep going up the rankings.
"We’ve got a chance to keep improving over the next ten days. We’ve done well at home – we’re used to our conditions and hopefully we can use that to our advantage."
It's a measure of Cook's rapid development as an ODI player since being made captain after the 2011 World Cup that he has never played a limited overs match against Australia.
The Essex opener has emerged as one of the most successful opening batsmen in the modern game however, and his side have developed at a quicker rate than many may have predicted 12 months ago.
Home form has been the key feature in England's rise up the ICC rankings, with the recent run of victories overshadowing performances such as the 5-0 defeat in India last Autumn.
Cook added: "Clearly we should feel comfortable in these conditions and we should do well in home conditions.
"We’ve got to make it has hard as we find it in sub-continental conditions and make this a difficult place to come to for other teams.
"I don’t see home advantage being as big in these conditions as it would be against sub-continental teams, but I know the crowds will be behind us and hopefully we can use that."
The series may be being played with an Ashes series looming in 12 months, but both Cook and his counterpart Michael Clarke played down its bearing on the Test series.
Cook said: "I don’t think it has any bearing on the Ashes. When we’re sitting here a couple of days before the first Test match of the Ashes, you’re not going to think ‘this is what happened in the one dayers.’ We’re just seeing it as this series now.