MS Dhoni India
India skipper MS Dhoni will hope his team's batting comes to the party against AustraliaReuters

The last time India played matches in coloured clothes against Australia in Australia, it did not go so well, with the team in yellow and green dominating the men in blue.

That semifinal loss in the World Cup last year will still hurt India a little, with Australia, after dominating them in the tri-series and warm-up match leading to the CWC, ending MS Dhoni's defence of the most coveted title in limited-overs cricket.

Revenge, avenge (and a few more enges) are words that are often used when a team is trying to bounce back from defeats to the same opposition, but for India, this series will more be about getting their batsmen and bowlers into the groove and building that confidence ahead of a T20 series against Australia, which then leads into the World T20.

India haven't won the World T20 title since that unforgettable final victory against Pakistan in 2007, and having struggled in the finale against Sri Lanka in the last edition of the tournament, Dhoni will be keen to tune his team to optimum levels.

Of course, there are a few players missing from the T20 squad in this ODI series – Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina to name three -- but the core of the team remains pretty much the same, and, at the end of the day, it will be up to the likes of Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to do the business with bat and ball when the World T20 comes calling in their own backyard.

India did pretty well in the warm-up games leading up to the 1st ODI at the WACA, with most of the batsmen getting a good knock out in the middle, with the bowlers, in particular, quite impressive, stopping the Western Australia XI in their tracks in both the T20 and one-day practice matches.

The bowling will be the key again for India in this ODI series. Dhoni's men went unbeaten to the semifinal of the World Cup on the back of outstanding bowling performances, and with Australia packed with batting talent, led by Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and David Warner, those men with the white cherry in their hands will need to do the business again.

If India's bowlers do not step up, it will put extra pressure on the batsmen, and going by the last few series, that might not be the greatest of scenarios. India remain way too dependent on their top three – Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli -- to score runs, and when they don't, the middle order fails to cope with the pressure.

Dhoni's not the marauding finisher anymore, with the right-hander, particularly struggling to close out innings while batting first. Asking the likes of Manish Pandey and Gurkeerat Singh Mann to play calmly and serenely according to the situation might be too much, considering their lack of experience at the international level.

Ajinkya Rahane, while improving with every game, still has a way to go in terms of middle-order batting – and that is where he is likely to play, because Kohli must bat at No.3 – but the right-hander could be the key to India's willow-wielding in this series.

The first ODI will act as a pointer to what to expect, but with several young and inexperienced bowlers in Australia's lineup, this really is a golden opportunity to put a few past an opposition they have struggled against Down Under in the past.

1st ODI schedule: Australia vs India.

Date: Tuesday, 12 January.

Time: 11.20 am local time (8.50 am IST, 2.20 pm AEDT, 3.20 am GMT, 10.20 pm ET(previous day).

Venue: WACA in Perth.

TV listings: India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD3. Australia: Channel 9. UK: Sky Sports. USA: Willow TV. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Cricket. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport.

Also read