'There's no bigger incentive than beating India in this series'
The upcoming series against India provides Australia a chance to claim the No 1 ranking in One-Day Internationals, and Adam Voges says a good start to the seven-match rubber is the key to attaining that goal.
"Look, there's a big incentive for us in this tournament. Obviously, India are number one at the moment, but if we can have a good win in this series, we've got an opportunity to overtake them; so there's no bigger incentive than that," said the 34-year-old Western Australia middle order batsman.
He hastened to add that the team will have to play extremely well for that to happen, like last time they were in India.
“If we can play some good cricket, start well, I think that will be important," he said, after Australia’s training session at the Cricket Club of India, in Mumbai, on Tuesday.
The teams first play a Twenty20 game on October 10 at Rajkot, before the seven-ODI series commences at Pune on October 13.
Image: Team India celebrating the fall of a wicket
'We need to have our plans against all the Indian bowlers'
Voges, who has played 25 ODIs and seven T20s, said he has fully recovered from the back and hamstring injury that forced him to return home midway through the Champions T20 League when playing for Perth Scorchers.
Talking about Australia's batting, he said: "I think our one-day batting has been okay. We played pretty well against England in their conditions. Obviously, the Champions Trophy (won by India) didn't go as we would have liked, but I thought the way we bounced back against England in England was pretty good.
"We'll take a lot of confidence out of that as a batting group and we've got some continuity I guess with our batters. We know our role and, like I said, a good start to our batting group will be crucial."
He said tackling India’s spin bowling is going to be a challenge for his team, though some of the players are used to playing in Indian conditions.
"We need to have our plans against (Ravindra) Jadeja, (Ravichandran) Ashwin and all the Indian bowlers. It's going to be tough work against
spinners in their conditions. You don't become No 1 without being a very good all-round team. We'll be well prepared.
"As long as we have got some clear game plans about how we're going to tackle them, it’s about executing them. It's going to be a big challenge but I am certainly looking forward to it.
"We understand the conditions. Probably the dew will play a part as well in day-night games. We've played a lot of cricket over here. Most of the guys now have played and adapted to the conditions. It's great to have played here at the CCI and adapt to the conditions. So we jump on the plane this afternoon and will be ready to go," he said.
Image: Adam Voges
'Shane is a senior player and has played a lot in India'
Asked about the controversial all-rounder Shane Watson acting as mentor to his teammates, Voges said the younger members in the side will benefit listening to him and wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin due to their vast experience.
"Shane is a senior player along with Brad Haddin; these guys bring a wealth of experience particularly here in India. Shane has played a lot of cricket here and any tips that he can give to any of our guys, I am sure we all will be listening," said Voges.
He said the team was a close-knit group with a few members, including himself, having being a part of the 2009 team that won 4-2 in India.
"I think we're a pretty close-knit team now. we've got some guys who played in the series in 2009, I think we've got four or five guys from that trip who had success back then. We know how to win here and that's something that would be important."
Asked about forcing his way into the Test team, Voges said right now he is not looking beyond Thursday's T20 game.
"Look, every time I play for Australia is a huge opportunity for me. I am not looking any further than Thursday night. And, hopefully, I can have a big series. But, as I said earlier, starting well would be the key."
Image: Shane Watson celebrates a wicket