Bangalore:After India's victory in the Twenty20 World cup, it's now time for the real test for new ODI captain MS Dhoni.
His Men in Blue take on World Champions Australia in a seven-match ODI series - the first of them in Bangalore on Saturday.
The Australians are known to play mind games with their opponents both on and off the field and Ricky Ponting has already thrown the first dice by saying that the pressure will now be on India after their triumph in South Africa.
It's a clash between two world champions, one in Tests and ODIs and the other in twenty20 cricket. But it's the visitors who seem to have more of a point to prove - that their semi-final exit in South Africa was just a blip on the radar.
"We want to win every game of cricket that we play. This series is absolutely no different from the last one. We wanted to win every game that we could through the Twenty20 World Cup but we unfortunately fell a little bit short. But coming here to India is a place that we have got a very good record particularly in one day cricket, we have been very successful here of late," said Ponting.
Punter's definitely got that bit right - the Australians won the last two ODI series in India. In fact India's last win against Australia in a one day international came close to three years back in Brisbane in the VB series Down Under. No wonder then, that mind games have already begun.
"They thoroughly deserved to comeback as Champions but that's finished now. We have got look forward to these seven games that we have here. We know what we have to do to play well here in the sub-continent and if anything now the pressure will come back on the Indians. There's a lot of expectations from the Indians at this moment," he said.
Those expectations will be fuelled by the return of the holy trinity of Indian cricket - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid - but surprisingly the Australians are looking forward to it.
"The likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly are coming back in and they've handled these expectations for a decade, particularly Sachin. That will help these younger guys through these times and learning about expectations. But, they are riding a wave of emotion and a wave of momentum which is a crucial element to be successful," said Adam Gilchrist, Vice-Captain, Australian Cricket Team.
"I guess the thing for us is that we have played against those guys - Dravid, Ganguly, Tendulkar - a lot and we know their strengths and weaknesses very well. So it will probably make it easier for us to prepare with those guys playing in the team," said Ponting.