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Australian eves arrive in India

December 07, 2004 16:50 IST

Australian women's cricket team arrivedĀ in BangaloreĀ last night on a three-week tour during which it will play seven one-day internationals against India.

Aussie captain Belinda Clark said the tour would be challenging as playing in the sub-continent was not easy.

The Indian team had the home advantage, said Clark, who needs to play a further five matches to become the first Australian woman to make 100 ODI appearances.

The series is a build-up for the World Cup to be held in South Africa in April in 2005.

India are obviously underdogs having defeated Australia only once in 14 limited-overs encounters. On its last tour to India (aside from the World Cup) in 1984, Australia recorded a 4-0 sweep.

But the hosts are in a confident mood, having had a string of successes in the last one year, defeating New Zealand 4-1 at home, West Indies 5-0 and winning the Asia Cup in May 2004 in Sri Lanka.

Spinners are India's best bet, and Captain Mamta Maben, who led the team to three consecutive series win, said the side would give its best.

Australia, who have won the World Cup four times, start their campaign with a warm-up game against Sunetra Paranjpe-led India 'A' team in Mysore on December nine.

The first two ODIs would be held at the same venue on December 11 and 13.

The action would then shift to Mumbai (December 16), Vapi (December 19), Ahmedabad (December 22), Aurangabad (December 24) and Chennai (December 28).

Australia's 13-member squad includes Cathryn Fitzpatrick, who is rated as the fastest woman bowler, and twins Kate and Alex Blackwell. While Alex has eight ODIs under her belt, twin sister Kate is yet to make her debut. If she does so on this tour, the pair would become the first female twins to play cricket for Australia.

"I've always dreamt of representing Australia and to potentially do that alongside Alex will be a great moment for us," Kate said.

Teams (from):

India: Mamta Maben (capt), Mithali Raj, Anju Jain, Anjum Chopra, Jaya Sharma, Hemalata Kala, Jhulan Goswami, Amita Sharma, Arundhita Kirkire, Varsha Reissal, Deepa Kulkarni, Neetu David, Noshin-Al-Kadeer and Monica Sumra.

Australia: Belinda Clark (capt), Karen Rolton, Alex Blackwell, Kate Blackwell, Leonie Coleman, Shelley Nitschke, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Julie Hayes, Melanie Jones, Lisa Keightley, Clea Smith, Lisa Sthalekar and Emma Twining.

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