India-Australia series from Dec 17; see full schedule

India-Australia cricket series to commence from December 17, full schedule out

The second test will proceed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the traditional Boxing Day slot on Dec. 26

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Images

Cricket Australia confirmed Wednesday that India will play a four-Test series on their upcoming tour Down Under, including the traditional Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, which had been under threat due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

The announcement came hours after Australia's second-largest city exited a months-long lockdown, allowing the Melbourne Cricket Ground to stage the Dec. 26 fixture.

CA said crowd numbers at the 100,000-capacity MCG would be capped at 25,000 for one of the marquee events of the Australian sporting calendar.

"Australia and India represents one of the great rivalries in world sport and we are delighted to welcome Virat Kohli's outstanding squad to Australian shores this summer," said CA chief Nick Hockley.

Wrangling over quarantine requirements and the Melbourne virus outbreak had delayed confirmation of detailed plans for the tour, which will generate much-needed revenue for CA.

The pandemic has already scuppered plans to host the West Indies, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, New Zealand and the T20 World Cup this year.

A similar fate for the India tour would have been a financial disaster for CA and Hockley said the organisation spent months working with the Board of Control for Cricket in India to ensure it went ahead.

"I cannot speak more highly of the professional, thorough and collaborative manner with which they have approached this tour in these extraordinary and complex times," he said.

The series begins with India's first day-night Test in Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Dec. 17, followed by Melbourne before moving to Sydney on Jan. 7 with the tour finale at Brisbane's Gabba on Jan. 15.

Neither side has lost a day-night Test previously, with the Australian men's team winning all four pink-ball Tests in Adelaide against New Zealand, South Africa, England and Pakistan.

India defeated Bangladesh in their only day-night encounter at Kolkata's Eden Gardens last year.

Pandemic permitting, the India squad will arrive on Nov. 12 and complete quarantine and Covid-19 protocols before the first of three one-day internationals on Nov. 27.

After three 50-over games and three Twenty20s in Sydney and Canberra, the tour will move to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for the Tests.

Final schedule - India tour of Australia*

One-Day International series:

November 27 - 1st ODI (Sydney, day-night)

November 29 - 2nd ODI (Sydney, day-night)

December 2 - 3rd ODI (Canberra, day-night)

Twenty20 International series:

December 4 - 1st T20 (Canberra, night)

December 6 - 2nd T20 (Sydney, night)

December 8 - 3rd T20 (Sydney, night)

Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series

December 17-21 - 1st Test (Adelaide Oval, day-night)

December 26-30 - 2nd Test (Melbourne)

January 7-11 - 3rd Test (Sydney)

January 15-19 - 4th Test (Brisbane)

*Matches and travel remain subject to any relevant government restrictions or requirements

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