Australia vs India: MS Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan hit nets ahead of the ODI series
The ODI series gets underway on January 12.
Updated - Jan 9, 2019 7:29 pm
After drawing the T20I series 1-1 and winning the Test series 2-1, India are now set to take on Australia in the ODIs – three of them – and the squad’s limited-over specialists have already reached Down Under. The last time India played a bilateral ODI series in Australia was in the 2015-16 season, on that occasion, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, they lost the five-match series 1-4 despite totalling 300-plus scores four times and a 290-plus in the other game.
India to shift to ODI mode now in the run-up to World Cup
The white-ball specialists, that include Dhoni himself, hit the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground which will host the first game on January 12, on Wednesday even as the celebratory mood over the Test series win continued. India will now be focusing on the white-ball variant as they are scheduled to play a whole lot of matches, including 50-overs and 20-overs, in the run-up to the ICC World Cup 2019 scheduled in May-July.
They will play just one Test in this period which means the likes of Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan will be more seen in the middle, donning the blue. After the Australia ODIs, the team will fly to New Zealand to take part in five ODIs and three T20Is and then Australia will pay a return visit to India for five ODIs and two T20Is. Zimbabwe will be the next team to play India in a Test and three ODIs before the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off.
The World Cup follows soon after the IPL. Apart from Dhoni and Dhawan, other ODI specialists in the squad are Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed and Rohit Sharma. Rohit though was a member of the Test squad and missed the fourth match in Sydney for he went home to be with his newborn daughter after the Boxing Day match. Mohammed Siraj has joined the squad as a replacement of Jasprit Bumrah who was rested after the Tests.
For Dhoni, it will be the first international assignment since the home ODIs against Windies in October since he was dropped from the T20I squads both for the Windies and Australia series. The keeper-batsman will remain with the team for the T20Is against Kiwis as well.