India set dates for Australia showdown

India's Virat Kohli, left, has a discussion with Australia's Steven Smith, right, during the fourth day of their cricket test match in Adelaide, Australia, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

BCCI confirms Border-Gavaskar schedule that will force Australia’s multi-format stars to miss home Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka

Australia’s first Test in the pivotal series against India is scheduled to start the day after the final Twenty20 international of the home summer, India authorities announced today.

The scheduling crunch means Australia’s multi-format stars such as captain Steve Smith, batsman David Warner and fast bowling spearhead Mitchell Starc will unavoidably miss the three T20s against Sri Lanka in February.

Indeed, many of Australia’s leading players are likely to be away from home for the majority of the first six months of 2017. Australia will play three Chappell-Hadlee one-day matches in New Zealand in early February, after which the Test players are likely to head directly to India.

The Indian Premier League will follow the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Series, before Australian will be seeking to win the ICC Champions Trophy for a record third time when it is held in England and Wales in mid-winter.

A potential trip to Bangladesh for Tests and one-day internationals looms in August after the series scheduled for late 2015 was postponed amid security concerns, with a one-day series in India in October before a highly anticipated home Ashes campaign.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had previously confirmed venues for the four Tests Australian play in February and March, but today confirmed exact dates and the full schedule.

Australia will seek to overturn their subcontinental woes and begin their defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Pune on February 23, before travelling to Bangalore for the second Test starting March 4, Ranchi for the third Test starting March 16 and the series finale at the picturesque Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, from March 25.

Australia Tour of India Schedule

First Test: February 23 – 27, Pune
Second Test: March 4 – 8, Bangalore
Third Test: March 16 – 20, Ranchi
Fourth Test: March 25 – 29, Dharamsala

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