[caption id="attachment_652744" align="aligncenter" width="594"]<img class="size-full wp-image-652744" alt="Hashim Amla and MS Dhoni during Champions Trophy Getty Images" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/695162810.jpg" width="594" height="340" /> Hashim Amla and MS Dhoni during Champions Trophy Getty Images[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>After his sabbatical, <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/ab-de-villiers" target="_blank">AB de Villiers</a> returned to the limited-overs cricket in style with a sensational 104-ball 176 to set up yet another victory for <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/south-africa" target="_blank">South Africa</a> against the struggling <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/bangladesh" target="_blank">Bangladesh</a>. De Villiers secured his career-best ODI figures in his first international innings in four months. The Proteas clinched the three-match ODI series 2-0, winning the second ODI by 104 runs, courtesy 7 wickets shared between Imran Tahir and Andile Phehlukwayo. <p></p> <p></p>With a clinical performance once again, South Africa were back on top as No. 1 ODI team. <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/india" target="_blank">India</a>, who had gained the top spot through their 4-1 victory against Australia a couple of weeks ago, have once again lost the spot to South Africa. <p></p> <p></p>But for how long can the Proteas enjoy their stay at the top? How can India topple their old allies once again? Let s have a look at possible scenarios: <p></p> <p></p><b>India, South Africa and their rise to glory</b> <p></p> <p></p>After the ICC Champions Trophy, India remained at No. 3 while South Africa continued being the No. 1 ODI team. Not to forget they had already thrashed Sri Lanka and Australia. <p></p> <p></p>India then began their limited-overs journey. They beat West Indies 3-1, followed by whitewashing Sri Lanka 5-0. <p></p> <p></p>At home, India flattened Australia 4-1, thereby dethroning South Africa from the top. <p></p> <p></p>As for South Africa, the tale was different. After thrashing Australia 5-0 in their den last year, the Proteas had surged to the top spot. However, Australia reclaimed their glory thrashing New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy by 3-0. Australia continued their good run against Pakistan as well by 4-1. <p></p> <p></p>South Africa had to do something different to keep Australia out of sight in the rankings. <p></p> <p></p>It was through the Sri Lanka series that South Africa rose to the occasion. They whitewashed the Lankans 5-0, and regained the No. 1 spot. <p></p> <p></p>South Africa had last sat on top of the rankings in November 2014 before India moved to the top position after defeating Sri Lanka 5-0. Later that month, Australia claimed the coveted top spot after defeating South Africa 4-1. <p></p> <p></p>However, South Africa s stay in the top was at risk since the 2017 Champions Trophy. Being eliminated in the group stages of the tournament was nothing in comparison to losing the 3-match ODI series against England by 2-1. <p></p> <p></p>At present, South Africa have found their lost mojo and have toppled India by a point (121). <p></p> <p></p>Nevertheless, an interesting battle for the top of the ODI rankings could be in the offing even now. India still have the chance to reclaim their throne. <p></p> <p></p>If India win the opening match against New Zealand on October 22 at Mumbai, they will be back on top with the help of decimal points. However, if they don t South Africa get to enjoy their stay at top a bit longer. <p></p> <p></p>India will have to go on to win the series against New Zealand 3-0 to retain the numero uno position as anything less will see South Africa regain the No. 1 one position should they win the series against Bangladesh 3-0. <p></p> <p></p>The story will also witness a new twist if New Zealand, who are placed at No. 5, thrash India by 3-0. <p></p> <p></p>South Africa will remain on top, India remain at No. 2 and New Zealand will jump to No. 3 toppling England as well as Australia with 115 points. <p></p> <p></p><b>The other side of the story</b> <p></p> <p></p>Meanwhile, Pakistan will look to consolidate their sixth position with a whitewash against Sri Lanka. They presently have 95 points, nine more than their opposition, and can go up to 99 points with a 5-0 win. <p></p> <p></p>On the other hand, Sri Lanka have a tough task ahead. The team that entered last as a direct qualification for 2019 World Cup will have to defeat Pakistan 5-0 to move ahead of them.