Australia to play Test in India a day after T20 in Adelaide
In another example of tight schedules in modern cricket, Australia will play a T20 international against Sri Lanka in Adelaide a day before their first Test in India begins on February 23.
There is only a 15 to 16-hour gap between the end of the day-night fixture at the Adelaide Oval on February 22 and the start of the first day of the Test series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Such a schedule means Australia will have to select entirely different squads for the three T20Is against Sri Lanka and the four Tests in India.
"These are very significant decisions that actually change what it means to represent Australia," the Australian Cricketers Association chief Alistair Nicholson told ESPNcricinfo. "The player's view is that the best players should play for their country, and this is something we believe is echoed by the Australian public. If that is changing, then it poses the question: what does it mean for the value of the Australian cap?"
This is not the first time Australia are moving from one series to another with a small gap in between. They finished a Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on November 3, 2014, two days before a Twenty20 international against South Africa in Adelaide on November 5. None of the players who were part of the Test featured in the T20I.
The series against Australia will mark the end of India's busy home season in 2016-17. After the first Test in Pune, the teams will move to Bangalore for the second Test from March 4 and then to Ranchi for the third from March 16. The final Test of the series is in Dharamsala from March 25.
Pune, Dharamsala and Ranchi will be hosting their first Test matches, after Indore did the same against New Zealand recently. In the series against England, Visakhapatnam and Rajkot will host their first Tests.
India will have a gap of 11 days before the first Test against Australia in Pune. Their only Test against Bangladesh is scheduled to end on February 12 in Hyderabad. Australia's last Test before their tour of India is against Pakistan in Sydney from January 3 to 7.