"The players wanted the match to be scheduled by the board to get into the groove for the coming Test series against Australia and we have decided to hold it in Pune from September 28," Cricket Board secretary S K Nair said today. "The national selectors, who are in Mohali for the Irani Cup tie, would choose the two teams tomorrow," Nair said. The Australian team is scheduled to arrive here for the four-Test series in the early hours of Saturday.
Captain Ricky Ponting would not be accompanying the team, at least in the initial stages, after fracturing his thumb and the squad is to be led by wicket keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist.
The BCCI secretary also said the first Test team would have to be chosen by the new selection committee which would come into effect on September 29 at the board's AGM inKolkata. "Some of them would then be able to watch the last two days of the Pune match before selecting the Test team," he added.
The first Test between India and Australia for the Border Gavaskar trophy is scheduled at Bangalore from October 6. The two teams will square up in the remainder of the series at Chennai, Nagpur and Mumbai. The visitors are set to open the tour with a three-day tie against Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai here on September 30.