Waugh keeps Aussies~~ plans for India secret

Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Barrackpore:Former Australian captain Steve Waugh on Tuesday kept 'secret' the Aussies' plans and preparations for the forthcoming Indian tour but said it would be a 'great challenge' for his country to beat the hosts in their backyard.

"I want to keep it a secret because I want Australia to play well," Waugh said lightly when asked about preparations the Aussies were making for the Indian challenger slated for September this year.

"I think," Waugh, back to his serious self, said, "Australia has prepared very well for this series and are looking forward to it".

While (Aussie skipper) Ricky Ponting and his boys were "keen to win" the four-Test series, "they know that India is a great challenge. I think the series will be a very close one".

Waugh, who led the Australians during the last tour to India in 2001, said India were fast emerging as a "world force" and played "excellent cricket" in the last 12 months.

So, "it will be a great contest much in the same way as the previous one," he said.

However, going by the hard preparations undertaken by the world champions during last 12-18 months and their excellent display in Sri Lanka, where they won the Test series amid difficult conditions, Waugh expressed confidence that Ponting&Co. would deliver their best on Indian soil.

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