Yuvraj Singh and the rest of the India team will hope to get a good workout in the middle when they play a Western Australia XI in a warm-up T20 game at the WACA in Perth on Friday.
India will play Australia in an only- limited-overs series, with five ODIs stepping up to the plate first, before the three T20s take the spotlight. There will be a one-day practice game on Saturday against the same team as well, but the key series for India will be the T20s.
With Yuvraj back in the team, all eyes will be on the left-hander, as the 2011 World Cup man of the series looks to seal his place in the World T20 squad. Yuvraj was highly criticised for his innings in the World T20 2014 final against Sri Lanka, and since that the-sooner-he-forgets-it-the-better-it-will-be knock, Yuvraj has been on the outside looking in as far as the India team is concerned.
However, after a solid first-class season and India's lack of power-hitting resources, Yuvraj finds himself back in the team, and this warm-up game against Western Australia will hopefully get that willow of his flowing, ahead of a crucial three-match series.
Dhoni will take this warm-up game and the three T20s that will follow eventually as one of the important keys in solving the what-is-the-best-combination puzzle for the World T20, which will be held in India between March and April.
India have not been performing too well in the limited-overs formats of late, and the primary reason for that has been the suspect lower-middle order. Dhoni will hope Hardik Pandya steps up to the plate in the T20s, while the likes of Manish Pandey, Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Rishi Dhawan will want to make an impression in the ODIs.
"If you see, most of the teams who are very consistent in performance at the international level, they have very good all-rounders," Dhoni told reporters before leaving for Australia. "More often than not they have fast bowling all-rounders, and that is something we are lacking to an extent.
"These guys have done well in domestic circuit and have been consistent for the last few years. They are getting a chance to see how international cricket is slightly different to first-class cricket. Yes, there have been quite a few inclusions in the side and it seems quite a few will get a chance to play in Australia, in the five ODIs and three T20Is."
The onus, primarily, to finish the innings, of course, will be on Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina – both picked only for the T20s -- but Dhoni will hope the youngsters come to the party as well.
Most of the Indian batsmen – particularly Raina, who will want to show dropping him for the ODI series was not the right decision -- and bowlers will want to get a good workout on Friday and Saturday, with Dhoni likely to focus most of his efforts on getting the T20 balance right.
Squads: India: MS Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
Western Australia: 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.
Where to Watch Live
Get the report and score HERE
The T20 practice game between Western Australia XI and India is set to begin at 6 pm local time (9 pm AEDT, 3.30 pm IST, 10 am GMT, 5 am ET). Unfortunately for viewers in India and around the world, there will be no live coverage of the match on TV.