"It has taken us a long time and a lot of great wins in different conditions around the world to get us to that No. 1 spot," Ponting told AAP. "If South Africa beat us 3-0 I don't know if that gives them enough points to get over us.
"But if they won the series 1-0 or 2-1, I don't think that would mean that they deserve to take over that mantle. It's a bit the same with India last series. Just because they beat us, the No. 1 team, doesn't necessarily mean they go from the No. 4 or No. 5 in the world to No. 1 in the world, because it's something that's accrued over a long period of time."
If Australia lose 3-0 to South Africa, and given we have recently lost to India 2-0, how can the standings not be affected given these are the two teams below us on the rankings? I appreciate that it is based on a points/rating system, but it is hard to imagine that if Australia get seriously rolled we won't slip a place.
What bugs me about Pontings statement, is that he says that because the lead was created over time, he can't see a team getting enough points to get over Australia from 4th or 5th position. Well Ricky, you might want to check your facts before making such announcements; Sth Africa are 2nd on the ICC rankings! http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/rankings/content/current/page/211271.html
Of course all of this could be mind games from Punter, which is good and well apart from getting the facts wrong; but does he think that Sth Africa are playing with the sole intention of ICC rankings, or just to finally beat Australia in a series since returning to world cricket? The tours here in the past have been pretty hard affairs for the Proteas, with Smith, Ntini and Steyn in the top ten of the rankings tables, they must be rating their chances!