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Oz arrive amidst tight security

cricket Updated: Sep 21, 2010 00:48 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times
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The 16-member Australian squad, led by Ricky Ponting, arrived in Chandigarh for their Two Test and three ODI series under unprecedented security.

Escorted by police cars to their hotel, the players did not speak to anyone and went straight to their rooms. Ranked fourth in the ICC tables, Ponting has already stated, their aim will be to reduce India's lead in the charts.

The importance of the tour is not hidden from anyone. It will be played just ahead of the Ashes and the World Cup to be played next year in the sub-continent. As far as the visitors are concerned they do not have fond memories of the city. In the previous meeting at Mohali during the Border-Gavaskar Series, the Australians slumped to one of their biggest defeats losing by more than 300 runs.

The news from the Australian squad is also not good. Young pacer Josh Hazlewood has bowed out of the tour but the squad will be further bolstered by the arrival of James Pattinson, Doug Bollinger, Peter George, and Mike Hussey who are currently playing in the Champions League in South Africa.

The two-match Test Series is a late addition to the previous itinerary of seven ODIs. The Tests will be played in Mohali (October 1 to 5) and Bangalore (October 9 to 13). This will followed by three-ODI matches.