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Pune, Ranchi and Dharamsala will be hosting Test matches for the first time as the BCCI on Friday announced venues for India’s four-match series against Australia beginning February 23.

The teams will open their campaign in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the first Test in Pune from February 23 to 27. The series will then move to Bengaluru, which will host the second game from March 4-8.

The last two matches will be played in the two new Test centres — Ranchi and Dharamsala — from March 16-20 and March 25-29 respectively.Australia were whitewashed 4-0 by India in their last tour of the country.

The three centres which had hosted One-day Internationals and T20 Internationals in the past — were accorded Test status last November.All these three centres, incidentally, are the home turfs of BCCI president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke and joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary respectively.

The allocation of matches to new centres is aimed at restoring the rotation policy for Tests.

India are scheduled to play 13 Tests, 8 ODIs and three T20Is in the current home season.


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