Ponting hopes to maintain top position in cricket

SYDNEY: Australia’s skipper Ricky Ponting hoped that his team would continue to maintain its number one ranking in the cricket world next year too.

Ponting said South Africa will not deserve to be called the world''s best team even if it wins the forthcoming three-Test series starting in Perth this month.

Australia is 13 points ahead of the second-placed Proteas on the International Cricket Council''s Test rankings.

Ponting says it takes a long period of domination for a team to become world champion.

"It has taken us a long time and a lot of great wins in different conditions around the world to get us to that number one spot," he said.

"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."

Ponting said he had been assured that his wrist problem would not force him to scale back his workload.