India embark on another tour of Australia, a tour in which they will only play in coloured clothes and will hope to find their rhythm ahead of a World T20 at home they are desperate to win.
After a sometimes-poor, sometimes-awful, sometimes-decent and sometimes-good tour of Australia last time out, where a couple of Test matches didn't go their way, India went on to reach the semifinals of the 50-over World Cup, before going down to the eventual Michael Clarke-led champions.
Five ODIs and three T20s await India against the same opposition, and while the one-dayers are primarily to entertain the crowds and fill up those coffers, the T20Is will be essential for both teams towards finding the right combination ahead of the World T20.
Before the international fun begins, India play a couple of warm-up games – one a T20 the other an ODI – against a Western Australia XI. With the Big Bash League taking place Down Under at the moment, the team which will face India will be a little under-strength.
Will Bosisto will lead the Western Australia XI, which will have a couple of kinda-familiar faces in Travis Birt and James Muirhead. The first of the matches will be a T20, so that should mean a run-out for the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh.
The two veterans will be keen to make as much of an impact as possible in order to get into the World T20 India squad, and getting a nice hit/bowl out in the middle could just be what they need. Youngster Hardik Pandya, who impressed in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians last season, will also want to make as much of an impression as possible in a bid to get into the playing XI against Australia.
The T20 warm-up game will be followed by a 50-over practice match against the same opposition, and MS Dhoni has a few inexperienced players to give an opportunity to. Manish Pandey, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Rishi Dhawan and Barinder Sran have been picked in the ODI squad, and it will be interesting to see how they perform, if and when they do get a chance.
India's warm-up games schedule: T20: Western Australia XI vs India.
Date: Friday, 8 January.
Time: 6 pm local time (3.30 pm IST, 9 pm AEDT, 10 am GMT, 5 am ET).
Venue: WACA in Perth.
One-dayer: Western Australia XI vs India.
Date: Saturday, 9 January.
Time: 2.30 pm local time (12 pm IST, 5.30 pm AEDT, 6.30 am GMT, 1.30 am ET).
Venue: WACA in Perth.
Squads: T20: Western Australia XI: Will Bosisto (C), Travis Birt, Jake Carder, Ryan Duffield, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, David Moody, Jaron Morgan, James Muirhead, Josh Nicholas, Liam O'Connor, Darcy Short.
India: MS Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
One-dayer: Western Australia XI: Will Bosisto (C), Alex Bevilaqua, Jake Carder, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, David Moody, Jaron Morgan, James Muirhead, Liam O'Connor, Drew Porter, Darcy Short, Mark Turner.
India: MS Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Rishi Dhawan, Brainder Sran.