However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's [ Images ] side is placed second by a fraction.
India will retain second place if it beats Australia 3-0 or 2-1, as they will have 121 or 118 ratings points in that case.
Dhoni's side, however, can drop to fourth if it loses the series, as South Africa are playing against Zimbabwe in a three-match series starting on Friday.
If South Africa wins all the three ODIs, it will move to 116 ratings points.
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen, South Africa's AB de Villiers [ Images ] and Dhoni resume their battle for the coveted No 1 position in different continents.
De Villiers, ODI Player of the Year, claimed the top spot from Dhoni on August 29 but with the South African enjoying a slender nine-point lead, all that could change depending how the two perform with the bat.
Australia batsman Mike Hussey [ Images ] is narrowly behind Dhoni in third place and will also be aiming to regain the top position which he last achieved back in February after the series against Pakistan.
Also inside the top-20 and aiming for upward movement are Hashim Amla [ Images ] (joint-fourth), Jacques Kallis [ Images ] (seventh), Virender Sehwag [ Images ] (eighth), Graeme Smith [ Images ] (13th) and Michael Clarke [ Images ] (17th).
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, left-arm fast bowler Doug Bollinger in sixth place is the highest-ranked player who will be featuring in these two series.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan leads the ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders. The left-hander is the only player with more than 400 points while second-ranked Shane Watson [ Images ] of Australia is on 367 ratings points.
Only 16 ratings point separate fourth-ranked Kallis from fifth-placed Vettori with Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi [ Images ] occupying third spot.