Ponting led 15-member Australian squad arrives

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Mumbai, Sep 22 (UNI) The 15-member Australian cricket team, led by Ricky Ponting, arrived here today for a four-Test tour, commencing in Bangalore from October 9.

The squad arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport here but did not come out of the international terminal and were scheduled to take a connecting flight from the domestic terminal to Jaipur, according to sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The team is scheduled to play a few practice games in Jaipur before reaching Hyderabad on September 29 to commence official part of the tour, they added.

The Aussies are without all-rounder Andrew Symonds, who was involved in the racism row with Harbhajan Singh when India toured down under last year, after he was disciplined for going fishing rather than attending a compulsory team meeting during the one-day series against Bangladesh last month.

The Indian squad for the first Test in Bangalore will be named after the Irani Trophy match.

Earlier, the tour of India was early put in jeopardy after 20 people were killed in the serial blasts in Delhi, the venue of the third Test.

Cricket Australia confirmed the tour after a review was carried out following the terrorist attacks, receiving input from the Australian government's department of foreign affairs as well as conducting their own independent assessment.

Australian squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Doug Bollinger, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza, Bryce McGain, Peter Siddle, Shane Watson.

The itinerary: September 27-28: vs RCA's Centre of Excellence in Jaipur.

October 2-5: Warm up match in Hyderabad.

October 9-13: 1st Test at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

October 17-21: 2nd Test at Mohali, Chandigarh.

October 29-November 2: 3rd Test at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi November 6-10: 4th Test at VCA Ground, Nagpur.


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