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Australia renew rivalry in Twenty20

Source - afp.com

India will renew their rivalry with Australia in the shortest form of the game when they square up here in their first Twenty20 international after the world championship.

The Indians upset 50-over champions Australia in the semi-final before winning the inaugural competition in South Africa last month with a victory over arch-rivals Pakistan.

But a rude shock was in store for India as they were thrashed 4-2 by Ricky Ponting's men at home in the seven-match series, the last game of which the hosts won here on Wednesday.

Captain Ponting said the series had provided a good build-up to the Twenty20 outing but the thought of avenging their defeat in South Africa was not a motivation.

"We are looking forward to the game against a team that has just won a World Cup," Ponting told reporters here on Friday.

"There's nothing about trying to get even. We lost to the Indians in the T20 World Championship. We also lost the last game of the ODI series after being in a strong situation here. You lose some and win some.

"There would not be any sort of revenge, what is important is enjoying the game. It's an entertaining format."

Ponting also played down the talk around racial abuse of hard-hitting all-rounder Andrew Symonds -- Australia's only black player -- by sections of the crowd during the one-dayers.

"We are not concerned about crowd behaviour. The talk has been going around for the last one-and-a-half weeks for no fault of his (Symonds). We will just focus on playing good cricket and hope the crowds will enjoy it."

The Indian cricket board has promised stricter crowd-control measures for the game in the wake of the incidents in the last one-dayer where a photograph captured some fans making monkey gestures at Symonds.

Ponting also said that opener Matthew Hayden would most likely play after missing out on the last two matches because of a hip injury.

The Indians are without three celebrated seniors -- Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid -- who were also not part of the winning squad at the world championship.

Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik and paceman Zaheer Khan, the two bowlers who impressed against Australia in the one-dayers, are also not part of the Twenty20 side.

Coming into the squad are aggressive openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who was the top scorer for India with 227 runs in seven matches in South Africa.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthik, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Joginder Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Rohit Sharma.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee.

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