Australian women's team to tour India

Published: Thursday, December 2, 2004, 23:36 [IST]
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Bangalore:Australian women's cricket team is touring India this month for a series of seven One-day International matches starting at Mysore on December 11.

The second ODI is also slated to be held at Infosys grounds in Mysore on December 13, followed by ones in Mumbai (December 16), Vapi (December 19), Surat (December 22), Baroda (December 25) and Chennai (December 28).

Chairman of the selection committee and joint secretary Karnataka Ladies Cricket Association Shantha Rangaswamy told reporters here today the visitors would start off with a warm-up game against India 'A' on December 9.

The last time Australia toured India was in 1997 when they played against South Africa here in the World Cup match, which they won by ten wickets.

Belinda Clarke-led Australia is a formidable team. The Australian team has won the World Cup four times out the seven held so far.

The Indian team, led by Bangalore lass Mamatha Maben, had an excellent run in the past one year. India defeated New Zealand 4-1 in 2003 at home, defeated the West Indies 5-0 in January-February this year and won the Asia Cup in May in Sri Lanka.

The coming series against Australia is being billed as a "dress rehearsal" for the World Cup to be held in April next year in South Africa.

In the last World Cup in 2000, Australia were beaten by hosts New Zealand in the final, while India finished third.

Clarke, arguably the most successful captain, would be completing 100 ODI appearances during the seven match series, Rangaswamy said.

Australians are known for their aggressive batting and fast medium pace bowling, while the home team would rely on spin.

The Australian pace attack would be spearheaded by Catherine Fitzpatrick. Karen Rolton, the left-handed bat, who led a youthful Australian side to India in 1994, was the best bat in the 2000 World Cup, it was noted.

Left-arm spinners Neetu David and Deepa Kulkarni and off-spinners Nooshine Alkhader and Varsha Raffel would shoulder the spin bowling responsibility for India.

The Indian batting is expected to revolve around Mithali Raj, Jaya Sharma and Anju Jain.

Rangswamy said the Women's Cricket Association of India is "hunting around" for sponsors for the series.

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