Pune, Ranchi, Dharamsala to host their first Test matches in India vs Australia series
Pune, Ranchi and Dharamsala will be hosting Test matches for the first time as India will take on Australia in a four match series beginning 23 February.
New Delhi: India's eagerly-anticipated home Test series against arch-foes Australia will start on February 23 in Pune, just a day after the visiting country's Twenty20 side winds up a home assignment against Sri Lanka.
Pune, Ranchi and Dharamsala will be hosting Test matches for the first time during the four-match Test series, which is a part of India's busy home schedule this season.
The teams will open their campaign in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the first Test in Pune from 23 February to 27 February. The series will then move to Bengaluru, which will host the second game from 4-8 March.
The last two matches will be played in the two new Test centres -- Ranchi and Dharamsala -- from 16-20 March and 25-29 March respectively.
The Australians have been known to have different outfits for different formats and tend to preserve Test players ahead of major series. A recent example of this was when the Aussies rested their key players during a three-match Twenty20 series at home against India in January.
Australia's three-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka is scheduled from 17 to 22 February.
Australia were whitewashed 4-0 by India in their last tour of the country.
The three centres which had hosted One-day Internationals and T20 Internationals in the past - were accorded Test status last November.
All these three centres, incidentally, are the home turfs of BCCI president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke and joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary respectively.
The allocation of matches to new centres is aimed at restoring the rotation policy for Tests.
India are scheduled to play 13 Tests, 8 ODIs and three T20Is in the current home season.
Bangladesh's Twenty20 side defeated hosts Zimbabwe 2-1 in July, beat Australia 4-1 at home in August and completed a 3-2 series victory against New Zealand in Dhaka on Friday.
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