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India confirms dates, venues for Australia’s 4-test tour

October 21, 2016
India's Virat Kohli leaves ground after dismissed by New Zealand's Mitchell Santner during their second one-day international cricket match in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

NEW DELHI (AP) — India will use three grounds that are untried as test venues when it tries to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a four-match series against Australia starting Feb. 23 at Pune.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed the dates and venues for the tour on Friday. Pune will make its debut as a test venue when the series opens. The second test will be held in Bangalore starting March 4 before two more venues are added to the test list: Ranchi will host the third test starting March 16 and the series will conclude at Dharamsala, in the foothills of the Himalayas.

India has a hectic 2016-17 season, hosting 13 tests, eight limited-overs internationals and three Twenty20 internationals.

It started with a 3-0 sweep of New Zealand in the test series and will also feature five tests against England, four against Australia and one against Bangladesh.

Australia will be coming off home test series against South Africa and Pakistan, and limited-overs series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Australia had a 2-0 win at home in the 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, which started soon after former test batsman Phillip Hughes was fatally struck by a ball during a domestic first-class match in Australia.

The Australians were comprehensively outplayed on their last tour to India, losing 4-0 in 2013 and were swept 3-0 by Sri Lanka in their latest test tour to the subcontinent. Australia has not won a test series in India since 2004.

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India vs. Australia series: 1st test Feb. 23-27 at Pune, 2nd test march 4-8 at Bangalore, 3rd test March 16-20 at Ranchi, 4th test March 25-29 at Dharamsala.

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