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One eye on World Cup for Aussies in India

Australia captain Steve Smith says his side's one-day tour is part of a long process of deciding a squad to defend the World Cup.

One eye on World Cup for Aussies in India

Australia captain Steve Smith says his side's one-day tour is part of a long process of deciding a squad to defend the World Cup.

The conditions could hardly be more different, but Australia skipper Steve Smith insists his side's one-day international tour of India will play an important role in defending the World Cup in England.

The five-match series kicks off in Chennai on Sunday, 21 months ahead of the World Cup final at Lord's.


While an upset series victory is the immediate priority, fine-tuning a side to win Australia a sixth world title isn't far from Smith's mind.

"We've got about 30 one-day games before the World Cup," Smith said

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"For us it's about trying to find the right group of players to fill all the slots.

"Hopefully this group here can go a long way to filling those spots and play some really good cricket in the next five (matches)."

South Australian left-hander Travis Head has been earmarked to be the next permanent No. 4.

Australia are hopeful he'll be the last man through the rotating door which has seen six players tried in that spot since George Bailey was axed in January.

Opener Aaron Finch has aggravated a calf injury, paving the way for allrounder Hilton Cartwright to make his ODI debut.

Cartwright is among six players in the squad with less than 20 matches under their belt.

Spin-bowling allrounder Ashton Agar, powerful striker Marcus Stoinis and Test batsman Peter Handscomb will all be out to make their case during the series.

Fast bowlers Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile could also get an opportunity with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc both recovering from injury.

"I think its a good opportunity for guys to put their name up there," Smith said.

"As a team we always want to win major tournament. It's another step towards that."


AAP



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