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Home > India > Cricket > Reuters > Report

Australia wary of facing improving West Indies

May 12, 2008 12:06 IST

Australia's cricketers flew out of Sydney on Saturday bracing themselves for a tough tour of the West Indies [Images].

The Australians are overwhelming favourites to win the three Tests and five one-day internationals but captain Ricky Ponting [Images] said the players were not expecting an easy time.

"I think they are starting to turn things around there a little bit better at the moment," Ponting told reporters at Sydney Airport.

"Their bowling attack probably in particular is definitely a lot stronger than the last time we played them in Test cricket.

"As always, they will pose a bit of a threat in their home conditions.

"But, in saying that, I think with some fresher faces around our group, as well as a bit of a change of personnel from the last (Test) game that we played, I think it's a really good opportunity for this team to keep forging its own identity."

The series poses a new challenge for the Australians, who will be without Shane Warne [Images], Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist [Images] and Justin Langer who have all retired in the last 18 months.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke [Images] has opted to miss the start of the tour to remain in Australia with his fiancee Lara Bingle, while her father is ill.

The first Test, in Kingston [Images], Jamaica, starts on May 22.

(Reporting by Julian Linden. Editing by Clare Fallon)

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