India seniors to take early flight to Aus

Last December, the cream of the Test party had left for Cape Town to train at coach Gary Kirsten’s academy in preparation for the three-Test series. While India did lose the first Test in Centurion quite badly, they bounced back to draw the series 1-1, their best result in the Protean land to date.

Like then, India will be involved in a one-day series this time too, just before the team is scheduled to depart for Australia. The five-match one-day showdown against the West Indies won’t end until December 11, while the first warm-up game in Australia is on December 15 and 16, against a Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI in Canberra.

It has been learnt that almost all the seniors will leave for Australia, most likely on December 8, and spend the week before the Canberra game sharpening their skills and getting used to the conditions Down Under. Last year, when most of the Test squad had departed early for South Africa, Gautam Gambhir had led the one-day team to a 5-0 rout of New Zealand at home.

It’s not clear yet who will be entrusted with the leadership duties for the one-dayers against the West Indies, though it is more or less certain that regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will again be amongst those in the ‘advance party’.

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