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May 22, 2012
England will play three practice matches before the first Test when they arrive in India in October for the winter tour. The itinerary, announced on Tuesday, confirmed the first leg of the tour, including four Tests, will finish on December 22 with the second Twenty20 before England return for the one-day series in early January.
England's build-up to the Test series is long by touring standards nowadays and replicates the lead-in they had for the 2010-11 Ashes in Australia. They are trying to avoid a repeat of the series against Pakistan in the UAE where Andy Flower admitted they were under-prepared with just two three-day games after a lengthy break. It is also in contrast to the brief preparation India had in England last year where they played a single match against Somerset having come straight from a tour of West Indies.
The Test series will start in Ahmedabad on November 15 before moving to Mumbai, Kolkata and Nagpur making it England's longest in India since 1984-85. Three new venues - Rajkot (new stadium), Dharamsala and Ranchi, MS Dhoni's hometown - have been awarded ODIs with that series starting in Rajkot on January 11.
The fixtures in Mohali and Dharamsala are both day-night games and could pose problems for the teams with freezing temperatures - Dharamsala is at a height of 5000 feet - and dew. The two T20Is will be played in Pune and Mumbai before Christmas; there is no warm-up match scheduled for that format.
"This will be England's first full tour of India since 2008 and I am sure that cricket fans in both countries will be eagerly anticipating an exciting series of contests in all three formats of the game," ECB managing director Hugh Morris said.
England tour to India 2012
30 October-1 November 3-day tour match Mumbai, CCI
3-5 November 3-day tour match Mumbai, BKC
8-11 November 4-day tour match Ahmedabad, SPS Navrangpura
15-19 November 1st Test Match Ahmedabad, Motera
23-27 November 2nd Test Match Mumbai, Wankhede Stadium
5-9 December 3rd Test Match Kolkata
13-17 December 4th Test Match Nagpur
20 December 1st T20 (f) Pune
22 December 2nd T20 (f) Mumbai, Wankhede Stadium
6 January 50-over tour match (D/N) Venue tbc
8 January 50 over tour match Venue tbc
11 January 1st ODI (D/N) Rajkot
15 January 2nd ODI (D/N) Kochi
19 January 3rd ODI (D/N) Ranchi
23 January 4th ODI (D/N) Dharamsala
27 January 5th ODI (D/N) Mohali
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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