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Indian women cagers to take on Australia in their opening encounte

Written by: Staff
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Melbourne, Mar 15 (UNI) Indian women cagers will begin their tryst with the Commonwealth Games with a tough opening match against hosts Australia here tomorrow.

Indian women will be lucky to come out of the match with light punishment as Australia have one of the world's best basketballers -- Lauren Jackson -- in their ranks.

Basketball is making its debut in the Games and Australians are determined to win the gold, but for the Indians it is a case of getting good exposure.

The Indian girls will be hoping that they will be able to withstand the Australian assault. Lauren Jackson has played in WNBA team Seattle Storm, WNBA All Star, and she was member of the team which won two Olympic silver medals and two world championship bronze medals.

India will find it hard to qualify for the next stage as they have another tough team --England -- in their Pool-I. The fourth team in the pool is Mozambique.

Pool-II comprises Malaysia, Nigeria, New zealand and Malta.

The Indian girls got good practice as they played two matches against New Zealand while on their way to this city.

The way Indians played against fancied New Zealand in the friendly must have boosted their morale. The Indians pushed the formidable Kiwis to the limit and lost the first match by only nine points.

India are not an experienced side, but they are a determined lot.

''We have nothing to lose, but good display will help us. We don't have much at stake, so can play freely and without any pressure,'' said their coach.

UNI HSB PDS KN1922

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