Oz unhappy over not being allowed to practice at new stadium

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Nagpur, Nov 4 (UNI) The fourth Test match between India and Australia is all set to be played at a spanking new stadium 16 kms from here, but the Australians were already unhappy with the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) for not allowing them to practice and get a feel of the new stadium.

With the hopes of Ricky Ponting and company forcing a win and levelling the series hinging on this Test, the Australians were keen to get a hang of things, but because the practice facility at the new stadium is not ready yet, both the visitors and the Indians have been asked to sweat it out at the old VCA Stadium in the heart of the city.

Australian middle order batsman Michael Hussey did not hide his disappointment and said practicing at the new stadium would have helped his teammates to get accustomed to the conditions fast.

''I am someone who likes to get into the ground as early as possible, get gear set-up and all that sort of stuff, go out in the middle and have a look around because there are lots of distractions, every ground is different, so it's nice to become accustomed to those before you head out to play,'' Hussey said.

Sudhir Dabir, chief coordinator for the match, said it was not possible from security point of view to allow two teams practice at different venues.

''One team wanted to practice here (at the old stadium) and another team there. From security point of view also, it was not possible to arrange practice in two different places,'' Mr Dabir said.

Hussey, however, insisted that as a player, he approached a Test match in a different way.

''We've had to do it (practice) many times -- before you fly into locations to play one-day internationals, the day before, and you have to cope. Test cricket is played in the head, so if you do let those things worry you then you will probably be affected but we've got very mentally tough cricketers in the side so I'm sure we'll be able to put those things aside and concentrate on what you have to do,'' he explained.

The new stadium has hosted a few trial matches and in fact the venue was approved as a Test venue only this morning after Match Referee Chris Broad made an inspection before giving his thumbs-up.

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