Tendulkar says racism row will not mar Australia's tour of India

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Mumbai, Sept 19 : Sachin Tendulkar is confident that the racism row that marred India's tour of Australia in January will not cast its shadow again on next month's test series.

"I don't think there is any friction between us," Tendulkar said on the sidelines of a function here last evening.

"As far as Indian team is concerned, I would like to speak on behalf of Indian team, we would want to be competitive, but play in the right spirit. I am very sure that the Australians would want to do the same thing," he added.

Tendulkar, who returns from his latest injury layoff in a premier domestic game next week, played down talk that the tourists were a weak unit.

"It's going to be extremely well fought series and in the right spirit. All the spectators get to watch some terrific cricket being played because I have no doubt in my mind that it's going to be a close series people would love it," said Tendulkar.

India threatened to pull out of the series in Australia after spinner Harbhajan Singh was initially found guilty of racially abusing all-rounder Andrew Symonds in the acrimonious second test in Sydney.

A standoff between the teams ended after the charge was downgraded on appeal to using abusive language and the bowler let off with a fine. Australia won the series 2-1.

Australia will arrive this month in India ahead for the four-match series, which begins on October 9 with the first test in Bangalore.

In the touring squad named last week, Symonds was omitted after missing a compulsory team meeting to go fishing.

Australia named uncapped leg-spinner Bryce McGain, who could make his test debut at the age of 36, and offspinner Jason Krejza in the squad to replace retired Stuart MacGill.

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