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banner Friday, 9 March, 2001, 08:55 GMT
Travel broadens the mind
Australia check into their hotel in Calcutta
Security is tight as Australia arrive in Calcutta
Australian batsman Justin Langer sends his latest postcard from the tour of India.

Express visits to cities around the world are becoming common place in an International cricket itinerary.

It is a shame that we travel across the globe to wonderfully interesting countries, cities and towns and yet we have little time to take in the culture and atmosphere of many of these places.

The last four days in Delhi are a perfect example of the busy schedule involved in overseas tours.

For three of the four days, we have been at a cricket ground.

Luckily, our one day off we were able to visit the impressive Tal Mahal, but I am sure we missed experiencing so much more that Delhi had to offer.

Australian fast bowlers Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie
Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie in the nets

This afternoon we left straight from the ground and within two hours of stumps, we were on an aeroplane for our next destination, Calcutta.

While we are able to boast of visiting many countries around the world as Australian cricket players, we can't exactly boast of seeing everything each city has to offer.

It is a pity because in a way it is a long way to travel to see hotel rooms and cricket grounds. I guess the bonus is that when we retire we will know where to visit in our holidays.

On the field, and the run feast continued in our preparation for the second Test here in Calcutta.

Apart from yours truly missing out on valuable practice in the middle, the rest of the guys had a lot of fun slaughtering the India President's XI.

Like the first innings, Mark Waugh and Ricky played brilliant innings, with the latter scoring his second ton for the match. 'Junior' was ruthless, hitting some of the biggest sixes you are likely to see on a cricket field.

Australia take their first look at the Test wicket in Calcutta
Australia take a look at the Test strip

He has obviously made a successful recovery from his hand injury and is looking to continue his form in the second Test.

His partner was equally as aggressive in his destruction of the spinners and medium pacers.

Good friends off the field, Rick and Mark have led the ideal preparations for the important second Test match.

There is a feeling of excitement and positive expectation about this upcoming Test match.

We have so much to play for and with confidence sky high we are ready to take this series away from our opponents.

So much has been said about the Calcutta cricket ground and the noise of its spectators, that the excitement will be humming come Sunday morning.

So much expectation and so many people leads to a tension reserved for a big test match.

Arriving at the hotel tonight, we gained our first taste of the interest in Calcutta. The hotel foyer was crammed full as a sardine tin of cameramen, photographers and supporters.

If we haven't already experienced the full interest of Indian cricket fans, I get the feeling this week will have it all.

From Calcutta,
JL

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