Wet balls prepare Aussies for ODI dew

Scott Bailey
Kane Richardson says Australia's bowlers are ready for dewy conditions in the opening ODI in Mumbai

Australia are training with damp cricket balls to prepare for Mumbai's heavy dew in Tuesday's one-day international series opener against India.

The dew factor at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium is widely regarded as the most significant in the country, given its close proximity to the Arabian Sea.

Teams generally prefer to avoid bowling under lights at the ground, with the moisture regularly affecting bowlers in the Indian Premier League.

India were bumped out of the 2016 World Twenty20 finals at the ground, as their spinners struggled to deal with the extra dew.

It is expected to be even more of a factor in Tuesday's match, given it is being played in the middle of winter.

Australia trained late into the night in their first session at the ground on Saturday, before using the damp balls for their main lead-up hit-out on Sunday morning.

"I think (stand-in coach) Andrew McDonald camped out here last night to try and see what time the dew came in," quick Kane Richardson joked.

"Who knows, everyone is guessing. I think everyone is prepared.

"We're training with some wet balls so we can practice that. We'll just wait and see on game day.

"It's nothing new, we have dew back home as well."

Australia have not played a limited-overs match at the 33,100-seat stadium since 2007, and hold a 2-1 record at the ground.

But several of the bowlers have IPL experience at the ground, with Josh Hazlewood having previously called Mumbai home for the tournament.

Regardless, the Aussies are ready to embrace an underdog mentality given the conditions, in their first one-day cricket since the World Cup last July.

"I think the home team is always favourite," Richardson said.

"It's going to be so hard. India in India is always the biggest challenge and after what happened last year they will be ready for it.

"Confidence is up but the home team is always favourite. We are the underdogs."