India vs Australia
India won the 2018-19 series 2-1 (Photo-Reuters)

India’s tour of Australia is one of the most intriguing series in the near future. India’s visit to Australia, where they will play in all other formats, would likely be their first international match since February. The tour begins with the first of the four Tests, commencing on the 12th of December in Brisbane. Ahead of a gruelling rubber, tourists’ Test specialists are slated to reach down under by October end.

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Cricket Australia released the itinerary two months later for the India series with one Test against Afghanistan also included. While BCCI planned to hold a camp for the Indian team ahead of the Test series, the same might not be possible under current circumstances. Hence, the Indian Board is in touch with their Australian counterpart to send their Test specialists and a few of their support staff to Australia by October end.

ICC, BCCI. India
BCCI. Photo Credit: AFP.

A BCCI official told the News Indian Express that if they send some of their players early, it will give them ample time to prepare. With Indian players set to take part in the IPL, those players whose franchises do not make it to the qualifiers can fly to Australia directly from the UAE instead of returning home.

If we send them early, they would get adequate time to prepare. Players from teams that don’t make it to IPL Qualifiers, will fly directly to Australia as soon as the league stage gets over. Coming home will make things more complicated,” the official stated.

India’s Boxing day Test against Australia could shift from Melbourne:

India's Test Specialists Likely To Reach Australia By October End
MCG [File Photo]
Meanwhile, with Melbourne experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, contesting the iconic Boxing Day Test at the venue seems doubtful. If the situation remains the same in Australia in December too, Perth and Sydney loom as the possible replacements.

Virat Kohli’s side won their last Test series against Australia down under in 2018-19, which was their first in the nation. However, the presence of Steve Smith and David Warner alongside Marnus Labuschagne, who has emerged as a prolific run-getter means that the visitors will not have it easy.

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