FORGET about the Ashes, Australia's limited overs foray in India will be more about building towards the 2015 50-over World Cup.
That's the thoughts of stand-in skipper George Bailey and his Tasmanian teammate Xavier Doherty as the Australians yesterday continued their preparations for Friday morning's (Tastime) opening Twenty20 match in Rajkot.
``We have got some guys here who have been in the Ashes side and some guys who will be pushing for the Ashes side,'' Bailey said in Mumbai yesterday.
``To be honest, the Ashes is a month away.
``Eight games [one T20 and seven ODIs] here is a long way to go. We have got a round of first-class matches to go back home, so a lot go through before we start our focus on the Ashes.
``There's plenty of guys back in Australia who are already starting their focus on the Ashes. As far as this tournament goes, more focus is on the preparation for the 2015 World Cup.''
Bailey's comments come despite his own admittance over the weekend that selectors had told him an ``outstanding'' series would put him in the frame for selection for the first Test at the Gabba on Thursday, November 21.
Left-arm spinner Doherty, who is returning to the team after being dropped for the series in England, said his mind was firmly on the white ball, not the red.
``Conditions are going to be in my favour and there's going to be that extra responsibility to really step up and lead in those conditions when the quicks probably aren't going to have the pitches in their favour,'' said the 30-year-old former George Town and Launceston tweaker, who has taken 47 wickets in 45 ODIs.
``From my point of view this series is about nailing down this one day spot.
``I feel like I've been around this group for a few years now and it was disappointing to miss out on that English trip but I guess being this close to a World Cup, such a big tournament, they're sort of looking at the options around.
``Personally it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to play in such a big tournament on home soil.''
Both Bailey and stand-in coach Steve Rixon said the IPL and Champions League meant that Australia's players had more knowledge of their Indian opponents, but this theory also applied in reverse.
``We've played at a lot of the grounds that we have to play on and a lot of our players have played with and against a lot of the Indian players and vice-versa, they've played with a lot of us,'' Bailey said.
``They know a lot of our strengths and weaknesses.''
Rixon added: ``Inexperience is one of our learning curves and we have to get past that.
``George is relatively new to the captaincy, but it feels like he's been around for a long time.''