Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Aussies Touch Down In India

Ricky Ponting's Australia arrived in India on Monday for a four-Test tour, setting aside security worries following deadly bomb blasts in the country and in neighbouring Pakistan.

The 15-man squad will spend the next week training in Jaipur before flying to Hyderabad for a four-day match against the Indian board president's XI from October 2.

That will be Australia's only warm-up before the first Test starts in Bangalore on October 9. The remaining Tests will be played in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.

The highly-anticipated tour had been placed in doubt after five co-ordinated bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in New Delhi on September 13, killing more than 20 people.

A suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Saturday that killed 53 people and wounded 266 forced Ponting to admit security concerns were on his mind before the team left Australia.

"I've done it all day today, I've had a lot of discussions with my wife about those exact issues," Ponting said in Sydney on Sunday.

"Our advice was not to go to Pakistan and the advice that we received the last few weeks to tour India has been positive."

Australia cancelled a Test tour of Pakistan in March and also raised security concerns about this month's Champions Trophy there, forcing the tournament to be put off by a year.


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