Skipper Misbahul Haq and head coach Waqar Younis Saturday said they were aiming for Pakistan to claim the top Test spot as they left for a Test and one-day series against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan, currently third in the Test rankings, briefly attained world number two in 2006 but have never been number one.
Misbah said Pakistan could take the top spot if they won in Sri Lanka and against Australia in October.
"We have a very good chance and it's a big motivation for us to become top Test team," Misbah told reporters as the team departed for Colombo.
Pakistan open the tour with the first of two Tests in Galle starting from August 6. They also play three one-day matches.
Misbah predicted a close series with Sri Lanka, who last month lost to South Africa 1-0 in a two-Test series.
"The main target is the World Cup but we have very important series in Sri Lanka and then two more against Australia and New Zealand so we have to focus on all these events and try our best to win them," said Waqar, appointed for two years in May.
Waqar said Pakistan can take inspiration from their last Test win over Sri Lanka in Sharjah when they chased 302 on the last day.