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banner Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 20:57 GMT
Awesome Taj Mahal
The Aussie squad at the Taj Mahal
The Aussie squad at the Taj Mahal
Australian batsman Justin Langer is awe-struck by the Taj Mahal.

She must have been an amazing lady that Mumtaz Jahan for the Emperor Shah Jahan to build the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in her honour.

Rarely do you get the opportunity to visit one of the wonders of the world, so I was one of the first with his hand up when the chance was presented to the team.

It is difficult to find the appropriate words to describe the beauty and magnificence of the Taj Mahal.

It is equally as mind boggling attempting to take a photograph truly encompassing the atmosphere surrounding one of the great architectural successes in history.

Having read about, and seen pictures, of the Taj, it is everything I ever imagined.

Haddin dreams of his Test debut
Haddin dreams of his Test debut
Standing on a raised marble platform with tall white minarets at each corner of the platform, the Taj stands out like a full moon in a black night sky.

If not for the hordes of photographers and journalists following our every move, the day was like a meditative experience, as we studied the finely carved marble structures and marvelled over the story of the Taj Mahal.

A 12-hour round trip to Agra made the day an adventure in itself and one I will never forget from this tour of India.

Day one of our third practice game here in Delhi, turned into a run feast.

Steve Waugh's efforts, over the last few years, are nearly reaching 'Bradmanesque' proportions.

Almost every time he reaches the crease, he scores runs.

His consistency is rivalled by few who are playing, or have played, the game.

Another century against the India President's XI and he is continuing his incredible run-making form of the past four, five, even six years.

In the team bus, he talked to me about the consistency that has become his trademark.

He spoke of mental toughness as the key and when I asked him about his definition of this, he said: "It (mental toughness) is simply never giving in to yourself."

Dreaming

A quote he adopted from Brisbane Bronco coach, Wayne Bennett.

Ricky and 'Junior' also batted tremendously well scoring 100 and 60 respectively.

In a day of classic batsmanship, we left the field with more than 400 runs in the day's play.

On a pitch as flat and low as a breakfast pancake the guys took perfect batting practice in preparation for the second Test match.

Australian debutant Brad Haddin, chipped in with a few runs in the last session, but his main role will be with the gloves.

As I write this article I have no doubt, he is tucked up in bed after a long, hectic trip from Sydney.

If he is not dreaming of spectacular catches, he may be pinching himself at his opportunity to wear the baggy green for the first time.

Our captain has a huge wrap on our new, young, back-up wicketkeeper so we will be looking forward to seeing him in action.

Beautiful

Happily, Adam Gilchrist is making a steady recovery, and if nothing else, three days rest may be the perfect tonic for our vice-captain.

One thing very noticeable about Delhi is the cooler air and the array of beautiful flowers surrounding the city.

It is said this is the best time of the year to be in Delhi, but judging by the colours you could be anywhere in the world.

This tour is travelling so smoothly that I wouldn't mind a rupee for every time I have said "we could be anywhere in the world right now".

From beautiful Delhi
JL

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