Di Venuto warns Aussies not to treat T20 series as World Cup auditions


Australia acting coach Michael Di Venuto has warned payers not to think of their up-coming three-game Twenty20 series against India as an audition for the T20 World Cup in March.

Adelaide Oval is the location for the start of the series, with both teams fresh off the back of five one-dayers, in which Australia ran out 4-1 winners. 

A combined 3,159 runs were made by both teams, which is the most in any bilateral ODI series of five or fewer matches, surpassing the aggregate in the 2015 series between New Zealand and England, when 3,151 runs were scored across five ODI's. 

Di Venuto, who will take over head coach for the T20 series after Darren Lehmann was admitted to a Sydney hospital suffering from deep vein thrombosis, urged players not use the series as an audition for the looming T20 World Cup. 

"It's important that they don't treat it as that," he told reporters at Adelaide Airport.

"They have also just got to go out and play.

"If they're thinking about the World Cup they are likely to go out there and get a bit of stage fright so they have just got to play the game the way they have been playing."

Australia's squad for their T20's against India features a mix of new and old, but a few stars are expected to leave before the end. 

Batsman Travis Head and seam bowling pair Scott Boland and Andrew Tye could all make their debuts in the format, along with Nathan Lyon - who has never played a T20 for Australia despite appearing in over 50 Tests.

Aaron Finch will skipper the hosts, while Test and one-day captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner, along with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade could leave early to prepare for Australia's three-game ODI series against New Zealand.

Australia will be without Glenn Maxwell for the T20 series opener because of a lingering hamstring injury, but he could return for the final two games in Melbourne and Sydney.

India will be looking to use the momentum from their ODI win on Saturday, but will have to do it without Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar after both suffered hand injuries. 

The visitors had five batsmen hit centuries in their ODI series but have not had much luck in their most recent T20 fixtures, losing their last three T20 internationals.