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Tied Chennai Test marked Australian renaissance: Border


SYDNEY, March 14 (AFP) - The 1986 tied Test in Chennai began the world-beating era of the Australian cricket team, former captain Allan Border said here Wednesday.

"Australian cricket started to get back on track from around that point," Border said.

Border and his 1986 teammates departed Wednesday for India to play a 40-over match to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the tied Test.

The limited-overs match in Chennai on Friday, at the Guru Nanak College Ground, is being played to raise funds for the victims of the massive earthquake that struck the Indian province of Gujarat in January.

The match had originally been organised to raise awareness about the second tied match in Test history.

"History hasn't treated it as kindly as the first one, which is understandable given the enormity of the first tied Test (the 1960 match between Australia and West Indies in Brisbane)," Border said.

"From my point of view, once all was said and done, we were all quite happy with the tied result - that we hadn't fought that hard for five days to come away with nothing."

While in the sub-continent, Border will watch the first day's play of the third Test between Australia and India, also at Chennai, starting on Sunday and admitted he couldn't wait to get there.

"I think the Australians are a fantastic side," Border said.

"They've got half-a-dozen world-class players who I believe, when we look back on their careers, will rank right up there in the top echelon.

"I'm quite amazed they've won so many (Tests) on the trot - it remains to be seen how long that goes on - but they're ahead of the pack because of the preparation they put in."

Border admitted the present team was much better prepared mentally than previous Australian outfits.

"I remember going to India in 1979 and it was portrayed as a 'Nightmare on Elm Street'-type tour - that you got sick every time, you could get any sort of disease," he said.

"But those barriers have been broken down. The current players look forward to a trip to India; they know it's a really good tour.

Of the original line-ups, only Steve Waugh and Mohammad Azharuddin are not playing, while Kapil Dev is an uncertain starter.

Waugh will be playing the third Test while Azharuddin was banned from cricket for life after being found guilty last year of match-fixing.







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