Confident Indians all set to face Aussies

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Bangalore, Oct 8 (UNI) A confident looking India is eagerly plunging into the four-match series against a 'shaky' Australia in the first Test beginning at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here tomorrow.

The visitors, who were not impressive in their match against the Board President's XI despite arriving two weeks ahead of the series to get acclamatised to local conditions, will, however, play a different tune in the series.

But Indian skipper Anil Kumble is satisfied with his team's preparation during the five-day conditioning camp at the venue of the Test and also with the performance of some of his mates during the Board President's XI tie. ''The team is fully geared up to take on the Aussies,'' he said.

Refusing to accept that his team was not at the highest level of confidence, Ponting said today it was ready to take up the challenge and was fully confident of facing the Indians on their home soil.

With a hot debate across the country on the continuance of the mighty four in the middle order, who have played for more than a decade and have put the country on top gear, the performance of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V V S Lakshman and Ganguly would be watched keenly during the series.

A number of youngsters of the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and S Badrinath are waiting in the wings to take their slots in the Indian team.

Repeatedly they had caught the attention of the selectors with their performances, especially Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who proved their form in the Board President's tie XI iagainst the Aussies.

While the Indian selectors have reposed faith in the seniors, Australia fields a relatively inexperienced team.

Explosive opener Virender Sehwag holds the key for India to put up a good score that can help the experienced middle order bat with better confidence.

The Indian bowling is in ship shape with spinners duo of Kumble and Harbhajan ready for a major role.

The speedsters in Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan have been in good nick and with his present form, the Delhi youngster (Khan) is expected to continue tormenting the Aussies after his successful tour Down Under.


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