Team India is set to return to the cricket field for the first time since March earlier this year, as the side takes on Australia Down Under. The series begins on November 27 with the ODIs, followed by three T20Is and four Test matches.
The Test series will be a major attraction as India will aim to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Australian soil, having won the previous series Down Under 2-1.
However, the side could potentially see a number of first-team players remaining absent, with Virat Kohli leaving the side after the first Test to attend the birth of his child.
Batsman Rohit Sharma and leading Test pacer Ishant Sharma could also miss the series, as it was reported on Tuesday that there has been no communication between NCA and the BCCI over the date of their departure.
Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, meanwhile, talked about India's opening combination for the Test series in the potential absence of Rohit.
"Mayank, I know, is a confirmed starter because he has scored big runs and if Rohit is fit and available, then he should be there," said Tendulkar in an interview with PTI.
He acknowledged that Australia's batting unit looks better at this point.
"Smith, (David) Warner and (Marnus) Labuschagne will be a factor and I am confident that the Indian team will leave no stone unturned as far as preparations are concerned.
"These two seniors back in the team and also with Labuschangne in there, it makes it a much better batting unit.
"It will be a bit more competitive series and I am sure India is ready for it," said Tendulkar, giving India a good chance of retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Like everyone else, Tendulkar also agreed that skipper Virat Kohli's absence from three Test matches will create a void but at the same time, it would present an opportunity to someone else..
"Virat not being there without a doubt is a big void but also on the other hand, the kind of bench strength that we have and the talent that is available, it is a good opportunity for somebody to establish himself," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar said that when it comes to Test matches, the presence of Cheteshwar Pujara is an absolute must.
"I would put Cheteshwar Pujara's name along with Virat. These two players have played together more than anyone else.
There is Ajinkya Rahane as well but he has not played as consistently in the playing XI as Pujara and Virat," he reasoned.