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October 22, 2009

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Australia looks to maintain form in ODI series

AUSTRALIA is looking to carry forward the momentum from this month's Champions Trophy success into a seven-match one-day series in India starting on Sunday, skipper Ricky Ponting said.

World champion Australia won a second successive Champions Trophy in South Africa, reaffirming its superiority in the one-day game after a 6-1 victory over England.

"We couldn't have done much better than the last 12 games of one-day cricket that we have played," Ponting said yesterday.

"At the moment we have played consistently good one-day cricket and I'll expect that to continue over the next couple of weeks in India."

World No. 2 India exited in the first round of the Champions Trophy but Ponting said the hosts were a difficult side to beat at home.

India has been strengthened by the return of the explosive batting pair of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh from injuries while the tourists have been weakened with injuries to leading players.

"(Batsman Callum) Ferguson going out from the Champions Trophy is a bit of a hit for us," Ponting said.

"Michael Clarke not being on the tour makes us a little bit more exposed as far as experience is concerned in these sorts of conditions."

Clarke was forced to withdraw from the Champions Trophy with a back injury. Australia will also miss first choice wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who is undergoing rehabilitation after finger surgery, as well as left-arm paceman Nathan Bracken (knee).

"The challenges that we face in the next couple of weeks will probably be how our middle order batsmen probably playing the Indian spinners," Ponting said.

Australia won a one-day series 4-2 on its previous visit two years ago.


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