India are set to play a three-day warm-up match starting July 20 against a County Select XI at Chester-le-Street in Durham. India will use the Riverside Ground "as a home venue for their preparations this summer", a release from Durham Cricket stated on Wednesday.
"The three-day game will see a number of players from the county circuit feature as they go up against the Indian national side," the release said.
There will be 90 overs scheduled per day with the game being played "strictly behind closed doors", and will be streamed on Durham Cricket's YouTube channel.
India's Test squad is currently on a break in the UK and is set to reconvene this week to start preparing for the five-Test series starting August 4 in Trent Bridge. R Ashwin also squeezed in a county game for Surrey against Somerset, where he took 6 for 27 in Somerset's second innings of the drawn game.
No tour games were scheduled for the Indian team until recently, and reports had said the visitors had made a late request for a warm-up game before the Test series. Soon after India lost the World Test Championship final to New Zealand in Southampton, captain Virat Kohli had even said that India wanted first-class games before the England Tests.
"We obviously wanted first-class games, which I believe have not been given to us," he said at the post-match press conference. "I don't know what the reasons for that are. But yeah, other than that, I think our preparation time will be ample for us to be ready for the first Test."
While the squad had been on break, most players got their second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine last week, which was in line with the plans made by the BCCI to keep their players safe on the tour. There have also been recent cases of Covid-19 in the England set-up, when three of their players and four support staff members tested positive before the ODIs against Pakistan.
The five Tests will be played at Trent Bridge, Lord's, Headingley, The Oval and Old Trafford.