The world No.1 ranking isn't the only thing on the line during Australia's one-day tour of India, with World Cup plans of the tourists also well underway.
While the World Cup is more than a year away, this series is being used as a test case for several players, with Australia to play only 18 more ODIs before the 2015 tournament.
Plans to ensure the Australian team would be ready, as hosts, began as far back as January this year.
Michael Hussey had announced his international retirement ahead of the Sydney Test, and was eager to finish his career in the one-day series against Sri Lanka which followed.
But he was omitted, with selectors taking a view to the future which very much took the World Cup into account.
While cruel at the time, the decision appears to be bearing fruit on the current tour of India.
Openers Phil Hughes and Aaron Finch are building a strong foundation at the top of the order and deserve the opportunity to continue their partnership long-term.
Interim skipper George Bailey has excelled in the middle order, perfectly taking over Hussey's closing role in the middle order.
Shane Watson's mantle as one of the world's premier allrounders has been enhanced in India with valuable contributions with both bat and ball.
And Mitchell Johnson has reminded the cricket world of his express pace and one-day exploits - while quietly building a lethal partnership with Clint McKay.
Finch said it was important to make sure the approach to games was being nailed down - with little time to refine gameplans with so few ODIs to be played in the coming 15 months.
"The World Cup is still a while away but there's not too many games before that," Finch told AAP.
"I think we've got about half the amount of games India have got.
"We've got to be really precise with how we play at the moment.
"I think what we've done so far has been brilliant.
"The way we've stuck to our gameplan, we're backing it to win more games than we lose.
"We're confident with what Boof (coach Darren Lehmann) has done with the one day side, and how Stumper (interim coach Steve Rixon) has carried it over on this tour, is taking us in the right direction."
Finch acknowledges that players from outside this tour will emerge to make claims on World Cup spots, not least of all injured captain Michael Clarke.
But he believes performances against the world No.1 Indian side should earn this 14-man squad some brownie points.
Following this seven-match tour, which finishes on November 2, Australia will take on England in a five-match ODI series to follow the Ashes in January.
From there they will wait until a three-game tour of Zimbabwe in June-July, before five more matches against South Africa in November.
That will be followed by the 2014-15 tri-series tournament, expected to consist of five games.While not confirmed, the tri-series tournament is likely to be shortened in 2014-15 to accommodate the World Cup which starts in February.