India-Australia four Test home series to begin on February 23

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) India confirmed the dates for a four-match home Test series against Australia, which will begin on February 23 next year, a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) statement said on Friday.

The series to decide the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will stretch till March 29, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said.

The first Test, starting February 23, will be held at Pune, followed by Bengaluru from March 4-8.

The third match will be played at Ranchi from March 16 and the final game will be at Dharamsala from March 25.

BCCI had previously confirmed venues for the four Tests, but confirmed the itinerary of the tour only on Friday. Three of the venues have never hosted Test cricket before.

The last time Australia toured India for Tests, saw them whitewashed 0-4 in 2013.

Australia then reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar trophy with a 2-0 margin in a four-match series in their backyard in 2014-15.

The series was held just after under mourning for the tragic death of Australia batsman Phil Hughes, who was hit by a bouncer on the head in a domestic match and succumbed to its injuries.

Australia hold the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after a 2-0 win in the four-Test series at home in 2014-15.

BCCI’s money-spinning T20 competition, the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played after the Australia series.

India are presently hosting New Zealand for a five-match ODI series after winning the three Test series 3-0.

India will then host England from November 9 to February 1 for five Tests, three ODIs and three T20s. Australia will arrive in India after sparring Sri Lanka in three T20s.

Cricket Australia’s website on Friday said the Test players may head to India after the New Zealand ODI series, forcing captain Steve Smith, opener David Warner and pacer Mitchell Starc to miss the three T20Is against Sri Lanka.

–IANS

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