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There's barely time for the dust from the celebrations of the ICC World Twenty20 to settle and the Australians are upon India for a seven-match ODI series. In India, the reaction was predictably exaggerated, both spontaneous and genuine and pre-planned and stage-managed. The players basked in the limelight and the administrators cashed in on the euphoric response of fans. The players though will have to wind up the celebrations soon, as India take on Australia in the first game in Bangalore on September 29.

It's interesting that India and Australia should play right after the ICC World Twenty20 for the two teams approached that tournament so differently. India were diffident and hesitant to begin with, with little or no experience in that form of the game, and completely unfancied. Australia were natural favourites, as they are in any cricket match, irrespective of the length or format. By the end of the tournament, though, India had beaten England, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan. Australia had limped out, first not too interested in the hit-and-giggle, shocked by Zimbabwe, and then outplayed by lesser teams.

But Australia's limping out, at least in the literal sense, will have an impact beyond the tournament. Ricky Ponting's hamstring niggle has not stopped him from touring India, though it is unlikely he'll play a part in the early games. Shane Watson has been ruled out, and Shaun Tait continues to stay out. What this will mean is a step-up for Brad Hodge, who has to keep Ponting's batting place warm, even as Adam Gilchrist stands in as captain.

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Very nice article and good read. Tale of two countries that came into the game in totally different ways!

Can Australia beat a confident India? We shall see.
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