The Australian team spent about an hour at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday to get a feel of the environment where it would be training and practising on Monday and Tuesday.
The ground staff of the club had pitched two nets and readied the area around the nets for training and practice, but after limbering up the team decided to have a short meeting at the Patiala dressing rooms before returning to the hotel.
The team was not at full strength because five players — Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile (Mumbai Indians), Shane Watson and James Faulkner (Rajasthan Royals) are in Delhi for the Champions League Twenty20 final.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has expressed reservations about the timing of the ODI series before the Ashes at home.
But, this Australian team led by George Bailey in the absence of Michael Clarke and other injured players may fancy its chances against the home team and spring a surprise or two.
Used to the conditions
The majority of the players in the team have not only got the hang of the Indian conditions by playing in the IPL and the Champions League, but have also excelled and turned out to be match-winners on occasions.
Nine players figure in the team that beat England 2-1 in the ODI series recently and the star attraction will be Aaron Finch who smashed 156 off 63 balls in the first T20 against England in August this year. Finch captained Pune Warriors in the IPL-VI.
In the recent past, Australia has got the better of India in bilateral series’ played in India.
Three years ago M.S. Dhoni’s team won the three-match series with a five-wicket win at Visakhapatnam; two matches at Kochi and Goa were abandoned.
But, India lost the previous two seven-match series 2-4 in 2009 and 2-4 in 2007. Brad Haddin, Watson, Johnson, Adam Voges, Moises Henriques and Clint McKay have been part of these two memorable wins.
The Australians led by Steve Waugh won the series 3-2 in the 2000-01 series.
In fact, India has won only one bilateral ODI series and that was almost 27 years ago under Kapil Dev’s captaincy.
Change in timings
Meanwhile, all seven ODIs will be played from 1.30 p.m. “This is because of the adverse impact of dew fall at most venues.
The second and third ODIs against Pakistan at Kolkata and Delhi were played from 12 noon,” said a BCCI official.
First session: 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Second session: 5.45 p.m. to 9.15 p.m.