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Watson: India the biggest challenge

Winning in India is the biggest challenge for any Australian cricketer and the four-Test series next month will inspire the young team to rise up to it, the all-rounder Shane Watson says.

The Australian cricketer Shane Watson addresses media representatives at a press conference held after a training session in Jaipur on September 25, 2008.
The Australian cricketer Shane Watson addresses media representatives at a press conference held after a training session in Jaipur on September 25, 2008.

JAIPUR // Winning in India is the biggest challenge for any Australian cricketer and the four-Test series next month will inspire the young team to rise up to it, the all-rounder Shane Watson said today. Australia won a four-match series 2-1 on their previous tour in 2004 to record their first series victory in India in 35 years but have since been weakened by a series of high-profile retirements.

Only skipper Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich from the current squad have Test experience in India. "It is an inexperienced team but all the guys are taking it as a challenge and they want to prove that they can win a series against an experienced India team in India despite being rookies," Watson told reporters. "For everyone of us it is the biggest test to play and win a series in India physically, mentally and technically," said the all-rounder, who made it to the tour party in place of Andrew Symonds who was dropped on disciplinary grounds.

Australia won an acrimonious four-Test series 2-1 at the start of the of the year. "It has become the biggest challenge for Australian cricketers to play and win a series against India," added the 27-year-old who is hoping his recent Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 experience would aid his preparations. The first Test starts in Bangalore on Oct 9 with the remaining matches played in Mohali, Delhi and Nagpur.

*Reuters