Inexperienced Aus can beat India: Ponting

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his team can rise above its inexperience in India and defeat the hosts in the four-Test series starting next week.

Updated: September 30, 2008 07:42 IST
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Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his team can rise above its inexperience in India and defeat the hosts in the four-Test series starting next week.

Leading the world's No. 1 ranked Test team, Ponting said on Tuesday that Australia remained strong despite the retirements of several top players since their last Test tour of the country, such as Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist.

"Even though some of our big players have retired, we've managed to prove that we can still beat anybody," said Ponting.

"We're confident that the younger players can deliver," he said.

Only four players in the current Australian team have played Tests in India, while several others have toured the country for limited-overs internationals and featured in India's domestic Twenty20 league earlier this year.

"They might be inexperienced to Indian conditions, but they're not inexperienced," said Ponting. "They've played in various countries and they've played a lot of first-class cricket in Australia.

"You have a lot of exuberance and enthusiasm when you have younger guys in the team."

Ponting was speaking in the southern city of Hyderabad, where Australia will play a warmup game Oct. 2-5 against and Indian board XI.

"We go into every game confident to play at a certain level, and we're good enough to beat anybody we play against," Ponting said.

The Test series begins Oct. 9 in Bangalore, also the venue of the first Test in the 2004 series which Australia won 2-1 to clinch a series on Indian soil after more than three decades without a series victory.

Ponting said a weeklong training camp in the northern city Jaipur helped the team get acclimatized to Indian conditions, especially the pitches. The weeklong camp included a two-day game against the Rajasthan Cricket Academy XI in which Australia's batsmen had difficulty against young spinners.

"We did struggle against spin, but we're are confident for first Test," Ponting said.

Meanwhile, the Australia skipper expressed his satisfaction with security for the tour despite the Australian squad's security officer urging players to be extra careful following Saturday's bomb blast in New Delhi that killed one person and injured 22 others.

"At the moment we're comfortable with the security assurances," Ponting said.

The third Test of the tour will be from Oct. 29 in New Delhi, which was also hit by a series of bombs two weeks ago that killed 21 people and wounded about 100 others.

After those bombings, Cricket Australia reviewed security before asking its players to proceed on the tour. It also appointed Frank Dimasi as a security officer to accompany the squad.

"We've not sat down and spoken about the situation about New Delhi, we've have just kept ourselves updated," Ponting said.

Meanwhile, two crude bombs exploded Monday in separate towns in western India inside crowded markets packed with shoppers, killing six people and wounding 45 others.

Australia pulled out of a tour of Pakistan earlier this year due to concern over the level of political violence in the county, while also being at the forefront of a successful push for the International Cricket Council to postpone the Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

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