George Bailey Australia
Australia skipper George Bailey believes the one-day series with India is an important one for the teamReuters

Australia have much bigger fish to fry in a month or so , with the Ashes series against England looming larger than a giant's shadow; however, before that there is a simple matter of trying to be the best one-day side in the world, by beating the current number one team - India.

The limited-overs series, which includes one T20 international and seven ODIs, have been pooh-poohed by a few of the stalwarts, but there is quite a bit at stake, especially with a couple of big one-day tournaments coming up.

Bailey was given the one-day reins after skipper Michael Clarke had to pull out of the tour due to his ongoing back problem, and the Aussie skipper is determined to see his side get back their No. ranking.

"At the end of the day, we want to be part of that No. 1 team. This is not just a tournament but a chance to be No. 1 in the world in one of the three formats," Bailey told reporters in the team's first press conference after arriving in India a couple of days back. "That is very important for the players, very important for the coaching staff and also for CA.

Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell was one to voice his opinion the strongest, questioning CA's (Cricket Australia) decision to hold the series at this particular time, when perhaps some of the squad members should be concentrating on first-class cricket to try and get into the Ashes side.

However, Bailey believes there is plenty of time for Ashes preparation, while stressing on the importance of working their way step by step towards the 2015 World Cup.

"Don't think his (Chappell) views have any bearing on the team," Bailey added. "He hasn't been involved with the Australian team for a very, very long time. His comments don't have relevance to this series.

"We have got some guys here who have been in the Ashes side and some guys who will be pushing for the Ashes side. To be honest, (the Ashes) is a month away. Eight games here is a long way to go. We have got a round of first-class matches to go (through) back home, so a lot go through before we start our focus on the Ashes. There are plenty of guys back in Australia who are already starting their focus on the Ashes. As far as this tournament goes, more focus is on the preparation for the 2015 World Cup."

Seeing an Australian play cricket in India is now as common as seeing one of your own countrymen, with Australians forming a major part of India's IPL teams as well as the ones that eventually go on to make their mark in the Champions League T20.

Five members of the Australian 14-member squad picked for this series - Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, and James Faulkner -- were involved for the two franchises - Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians - that made the CLT20 final.

Bailey has been a part of the Chennai Super Kings setup, while coach Steve Rixon is the CSK fielding coach and knows all about how M.S. Dhoni and co. go about their business.

That familiarity, Bailey believes, will help Australia get one over India in this series, which begins with the lone T20 on Thursday.

"One of the great things about IPL over the years is we have played in a lot of grounds against the best players," Bailey said. "All of us have played with and against a lot of the Indian players and vice-versa.

"We know a lot of strengths and weaknesses, a lot about personalities. (There are) some advantages for both the teams, so (there are) some areas to try and exploit."

"Having been involved in Champions League Twenty20, we have seen the likes of Suresh Raina (and) the way he is playing," Rixon added. "We have seen the likes of Dhoni, the way he is playing, and also R. Ashwin.

"We still have to be able to combat that. We have got plenty of hard work to do. The advantage, as George rightly said, is we have got to see them regularly now. We have got more (of a) chance of actually combating that.

"A lot more of the Indians would have played in that tournament (CLT20). That is the advantage of having everyone playing. We have been fortunate to have five of them playing. We are in a reasonable position. End result is the guys who have not been playing a lot of cricket, (we can) get them up and ready leading into the T20 and seven ODIs. Once that happens, we are ready for the contest." 

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