Indian eves take on England in series opener

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai:The Indian eves will take on England in their opening match of the quadrangular series also featuring world champions Australia and New Zealand at the M A Chidambaram stadium here today.

India captain Mithali Raj believes the hosts can carry forward their winning momentum from last years Asia Cup into the series but feels Australia remain a real threat to that momentum in the four-cornered event.

India won the Asia Cup in December, going unbeaten through the tournament against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and Raj feels that form will stand her side is good stead in the upcoming series.

''We played good competitive cricket in the last tournament and I think if we carry forward the same impetus, we stand a very good chance of doing even better in this competition,'' said the 24-year-old.

''The quadrangular series is the toughest series after the World Cup and every team will be well prepared. But I think Australia remains the team to beat because of the professionalism and approach they bring with them,'' she added.

The captain felt every match before the 2009 ICC Women's World Cup in Australia is vital for the teams build-up and preparations.

''Every match we play before then is important. It provides us an opportunity to assess our preparations and progress. Basically we are a team in transition and trying to gain experience with each match,'' she said.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Australia will take on traditional rivals New Zealand at IIT-Chemplast ground in the city tomorrow.

The quadrangular series will run in Chennai between February 21 and March 5 with each team playing the three other line-ups twice each.

Talking about the chances of the visiting teams, Australian captain Karen Rolton, England captain Charlotte Edwards and New Zealand captain Haidee Tiffen said the biggest challenge would be adapting to the humid conditions here.

''We have come from sub zero temperatures and the weather is possibly the biggest challenge and we are just getting used to it,'' Tiffen observed.


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