New Delhi: Cricket’s modern-day rivalry will be renewed when Australia take on India in the first ODI of their limited-overs tour on Sunday in Chennai. And ahead of the much talked-about series, which will include five ODIs and three T20Is, here’s how developments off the pitch have unfolded.

RAHANE TO OPEN?

Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma on Friday hinted that Ajinkya Rahane could be the one replacing his regular opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, who will miss the first three ODIs against Australia due to personal reasons.

FINCH INJURED, HANDSCOMB PROVIDES COVER

Australia have included batsman Peter Handscomb to their squad as cover for injured opener Aaron Finch. According to a report on cricket.com.au, Handscomb will fly in as cover ahead of Sunday’s series opener against India. Finch aggravated a calf injury during training on Thursday. A scan later revealed that he would need to sit out the early part of the five-match series.

CUMMINS READY FOR A FULL SERIES

Pat Cummins may have had an injury-ridden career so far, but Australia’s stand-in coach David Saker has hinted that the fast bowler could play all ODIs of the series. The 24-year-old pacer has been a regular over the past six months. “At this stage we’re planning for him to play all the games…We know that his workloads are up there, but it’s Australia vs India, it doesn’t get any bigger than that,” Saker was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

TENDULKAR TRAINS RAHANE

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar accompanied his fellow Mumbai batsman Rahane in the nets, following which the latter posted on Twitter. “Had a great net session. Thank you so much for your time and inspiring words paaji @sachin_rt,” Rahane wrote.

DHAWAN ON LEAVE

Dhawan will miss the first three ODIs. The opener has flown back home to be with his wife who is unwell. Meanwhile, no replacement has been named as Team India already has three openers – Rohit, KL Rahul and Rahane – in the squad.