Sri Lanka wants to use their upcoming ODI series against South Africa as a stepping stone towards the number one spot in the world rankings, ahead of next year's World Cup.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said that securing the top spot in the three-match series against South Africa is at the back of their mind.
However, Mathews added that the Sri Lankan squad just wants to take it game by game, series by series and play positive cricket, Sport24 reported.
Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and two Test matches against South Africa, with the first ODI to be played on Sunday in Colombo.
Sri Lanka is presently third in the ODI rankings, while South Africa is fifth, with Australia being the top ranked country.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers said that the upcoming tour would be tough due to the hosts' great form.
Sri Lanka won the World Twenty20 tournament this year and they have returned from a successful tour in England where the team beat the home side in all three forms of the game, the report added.