Australia A vs India A to provide lead-in to Border-Gavaskar Test series

A two-match Australia A vs India A four-day series will precede the Border-Gavaskar Trophy later this year as preparation for the tourists and a chance for players from both sides to press claims for Test selection.

The two matches will take place at Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay from October 31-November 3 followed by the MCG from November 7 to 10.

The entire Indian squad – comprising both the main tour party and the A team – will then have an internal warm-up fixture at the WACA between November 15 and 17 ahead of the opening Test at Optus Stadium in Perth which begins on November 22.

From Australia’s perspective, the two A matches will overlap with the ODIs and T20Is against Pakistan so the selectors may need to decide whether there are any players involved in the white-ball teams who could potentially feature for the A side. They will also likely clash with Sheffield Shield fixtures.

The T20Is against Pakistan are unlikely to feature any of Australia’s Test players given their proximity to the India series.

Although the indications have been that Steven Smith will remain as an opener, the structure of Australia’s batting order could still be a debate ahead of the India series. The A matches could be a chance for the likes of Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw to push their claims.

Last season Pakistan faced the Prime Minister’s XI, which was effectively an Australia A team, in Canberra ahead of the Test series.

On their previous tour of Australia in 2020-21, there were also two warm-up matches against Australia A prior to the Test series. India won that series 2-1.

The India women’s team are also touring Australia for three ODIs in early December which will be played around the second men’s Test in Adelaide.