India to host Aussies at world’s biggest cricket stadium

Fixtures have been released for the highly anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in early 2023

Australia will play Test cricket at the world's biggest cricket stadium for the first time early next year, after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today confirmed the schedule for the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.

Ahmedabad, the recently enlarged 132,000-capacity stadium named after current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will host the climax of Australia’s first men's Test series in India in six years.

The four-Test campaign will get underway in Nagpur on February 9, before matches in the capital Delhi (from February 17) and picturesque Dharamsala (March 1).

It has been reported the Ahmedabad Test (March 9) could be a day-night match played with a pink ball. The last Test at that venue was played under lights when England lost to India inside two days in early 2021.

Dharamsala, in the foothills of the Himalayas mountain range, is the venue Australia played at on their most Test tour in 2017, when the then Steve Smith-captained side met the Dalai Lama on an excursion.

Image Id: BCF307037D9743908C72151C6BD838EC Image Caption: Smith meeting the Dalai Lama in 2017 // Getty

India-Australia Tests had previously been played in Delhi in 2013 and 2008, while Nagpur last hosted the Aussies in 2008 when Jason Krejza took 12 wickets on debut.

Australia have played limited-overs cricket at Ahmedabad before, most recently in their 2011 ODI World Cup quarter-final exit, but it will be barely recognisable to Smith, the only remaining Australian player from that match.

The stadium has undergone a $AUD130 million overhaul and famously saw former US President Donald Trump mispronounce the names of Indian cricket legends Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar in a 2020 speech at the ground.

The venue hosted the Indian Premier League final earlier this year when a record crowd of 101,566 attended.

Smith will have happier memories on his return to Dharamsala, where he capped a stunning individual series with his third century of the tour in the first innings, though Australia went on to lose the match to hand India a 2-1 series win.

The 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy could be the last four-Test series between the rivals, with future Australia-India series expected to include five matches.

Qantas Border-Gavaskar Tour of India 2023

First Test: February 9-13, Nagpur

Second Test: February 17-21, Delhi

Third Test: March 1-5, Dharamsala

Fourth Test: March 9-13, Ahmedabad