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India to play an additional warm-up tie in Australia

October 05, 2011 18:01 IST

The Indian cricket team will play an additional warm-up game when they tour Australia later this year for a Test series starting at Melbourne on December 26, following an agreement between the two boards.

India will now play an additional tour game against CA Chairman's XI at Canberra before beginning it's two-and-a-half month long campaign Down under.

While the first warm-up game will be a two-day match against a CA Chairman's XI starting on December 15 at the Manuka Oval, the second will be a three-day game from December 19 at the same venue, against the same opposition.

The tour games will be a part of the inaugural 'Festival of Cricket' in Canberra from December 4-21, which also includes a Sheffield Shield game from December 6 to 9 and a Ryobi (One-day) Cup match on December 4.

The move follows suggestion from former skipper Anil Kumble at the recently held working committee meeting in Mumbai.

Kumble's suggestion came after the widespread criticism of the team's schedule for the recently-concluded England tour, where the visitors got just one warm-up game against Somerset ahead of their first Test match at the Lord's.

The team eventually lost the series 0-4 and slumped to third rank in the ICC's Test standings.

The team had to face more humiliation after they failed to win a single One-dayer against the hosts and also lost the lone Twenty20 international.

Kumble felt that if just one first-class game was scheduled in Australia, only 11 players will be able to play in it while he wanted all 16 touring members to have a competitive game before the start of the Test series.

BCCI thus requested its Australian counterpart to pencil in an extra game ahead of the Test series which the CA was happy to oblige with.

India is scheduled to play four Test matches against Australia before featuring in the triangular ODI series which also includes Sri Lanka. The visitors are also scheduled to play two Twenty20 internationals against the Kangaroos.

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