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Virat Kohli and Steve Smith shake hands at the SCG // Getty Images

India, Australia set for Himalayan Test

BCCI announce massive 13-Test home season including mouth-watering Aussie match-up

Australia will not have to revisit any of the four Test venues from the forgettable 2013 'homeworkgate' tour when they travel to India to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy next year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India today confirmed Australia would play a four-Test series next February, with matches in Bangalore, Dharamsala, Ranchi and Pune.

Australia played a World T20 match in Dharamasala // Getty

Three of the venues have never hosted Test cricket before, but touring Australian fans will be in for a treat with one of the matches scheduled for the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala at the foot of the Himalayas.

Australia has previously played five Tests in Bangalore, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the most recent of which was in October 2010, when a double-century from Sachin Tendulkar inspired India to a seven-wicket win.

Tendulkar celebrates India's 2-0 Test win in 2010 // Getty

Specific dates and the order of the Test matches was not confirmed by the BCCI.

Australia holds the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after a 2-0 win in the four-Test series at home in 2014-15. That was an emotion-charged series following the death of Phillip Hughes just prior to the series' scheduled start.

In an eventful series, Steve Smith became Australia's 45th Test captain – in an interim capacity at least- following Michael Clarke's back and hamstring injuries in the first Test at Adelaide.

WATCH: Smith's ton of tributes in Adelaide

India captain MS Dhoni then unexpectedly quit Test cricket after the Boxing Day Test, with Virat Kohli taking the reins.

Smith and Kohli were in remarkable form throughout that series – the Australian scoring an incredible 769 runs while Kohli added 692 of his own.

WATCH: Kohi dominates at the MCG

Steve Waugh once labelled winning in India Australia's "final frontier" and little has changed in the intervening years.

To assist preparations, Cricket Australia has constructed specialised 'spin pitches' at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

Baked red clay from central Queensland has been used to construct a pitch designed to replicate the Chennai surface – a venue the BCCI has scheduled England to visit rather than Australia.

Quick Single: Brissie clay puts Aussies in mood

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon recently told cricket.com.au the surface is "pretty impressive" after several sessions with fellow finger spinner Stephen O'Keefe and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.

"It's quite close to a splash of Mohali and Chennai, I know they've tried to replicate Chennai but it's a good wicket and here in Australia it's probably as close as we're going to get to a subcontinent wicket," Lyon said.

"I know Steve O'Keefe and I really enjoyed bowling on it and Pete Nevill had a good hit, and was keeping to us on it as well.

"So it's ticked a box so far."

WATCH: Lyon ready for subcontinent challenge

Australia's visit is part of a mammoth 13-Test 2016-17 home season for Indian cricket with visits from New Zealand and England before Australia arrive, and a one-off Test against Bangladesh to follow.

New Zealand will play three Test matches - including a possible first day-night match in India - and five one-day internationals, before Alastair Cook and the Barmy Army arrive en masse for a five-Test series as well as three ODIs and three T20s.

India will also take Test cricket to Rajkot, Vizag, and Indore for the first time. BCCI president Anurag Thakur said it was important India took Test match cricket "to every corner of the country".

The BCCI announcement did not make any mention of earlier plans to hold a day-night Test against New Zealand, but did confirm the Black Caps would play Tests at Indore, Knapur and Kolkata.

However, the BCCI did confirm their domestic first-class tournament, the Duleep Trophy, would be played with a pink ball and under lights. 

BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke added: "Some of the best teams of world cricket are coming to play in India this season and we are excited to announce the schedule well ahead of time.

"This gives the staging associations and the BCCI sufficient time to prepare and present one of the most memorable cricketing seasons for our fans."