The West

Aussies ODI kings again

Australia's dominance over England in the one-day international series has propelled the side back to the top of the ODI world rankings, and batsman Steve Smith says the Test and Twenty20 rankings are next in their sights.

Australia moved within striking distance of the No.1 spot after claiming the series 3-0 at the weekend and New Zealand's 15-run win over top-ranked India in Hamilton yesterday was enough to get the Aussies over the line.

Australia were last on top of the ODI world rankings in August 2012.

Smith said the team wanted to reach the Test and T20 summit too.

"Hopefully we can carry on in the other two formats to keep improving there as well," he said.

Smith was brought into Australia's ODI squad when a host of regular Test players were rested because of the looming South African tour.

The 24-year-old has become a permanent member of the Test side after scoring three centuries in Australia's past six Tests but says he will need to perform in the next few ODIs to put himself in contention for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, starting with tomorrow's game at the WACA Ground.

"The World Cup is obviously still a fair way away, but every opportunity you get, you've got to try and impress," he said.

"Hopefully I can come out and make an impact and hopefully win a couple of games for Australia.

"I probably haven't had an opportunity in one-day or T20 cricket for quite some time now, but I've definitely improved my skills over the past 18 months, that's for sure. I'm certainly in good form and ready to go in the next couple of games."

Australia opted to rest Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, David Warner and Brad Haddin. Smith and wicket-keeper Matthew Wade have earned the call-up for Perth and game five in Adelaide.

Clarke and Watson are expected to play at Adelaide Oval on Australia Day.

Smith, who is a chance to captain the team if George Bailey's hip flexor injury prevents him from playing, said he didn't expect the changes to affect Australia's chances.

"We're in a pretty confident space at the moment, playing good cricket," he said.

"Hopefully we can carry on with the way we've played and a few boys can step up and make some big runs."

Another England loss in Perth will equal their record losing streak of 10 international games.

But Smith said precious little time had been spent worrying about the plight of the tourists.

"Throughout this whole tour it's just been about us and the way we've played," he said.

"It would be great to end the series 5-0 and that is our goal … continue playing good cricket."

"Hopefully we can carry on in the other two formats to keep improving there as well."" *Steve Smith *

The West Australian

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