MCG to host Australia-India in blockbuster 'A' series

India A to face Australia A in two first-class matches, with India also playing an intra-squad match, prior to this summer's Border-Gavaskar series

Australia's Test hopefuls are set to duke it out with their aspiring India rivals with the MCG to play host to one of the most anticipated warm-up fixtures of the summer.

Cricket Australia has today confirmed details of a two-match Australia A v India A series, as well as a three-day Indian intra-squad clash, to kick off the subcontinent nation's tour Down Under for the 2024-25 summer.

As well as giving the next generation of Australian and Indian stars a chance to showcase their talents, the three red-ball matches will also provide members of India's touring senior side an ideal preparation as they chase their third consecutive series victory on Aussie soil.

Mackay will host an Australia A fixture for the second consecutive year with the opening four-day 'A' series clash to be played at Great Barrier Reef Arena from October 31 to November 3.

The North Queensland venue will also host Australia's women's team in September as they tune up for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh with two T20 internationals against New Zealand.

The two men's 'A' sides will then shift to Melbourne for the second match of the series from November 7-10, which will also give the Indian touring party a glimpse of conditions they may face at the iconic venue in the fourth Test six weeks later, where they won both Tests during the 2018-19 and 2020-21 tours.

The MCG last played host to Australia A in 2020 when they were beaten by England Lions in a day-night match.

Australia A played Sri Lanka in a List A match at the MCG in 2003 // Getty

CA confirmed both 'A' series matches would have first-class status, as has been the case in their past three series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The internal India squad match will then take place at the WACA Ground – which also hosted India in warm-up fixtures prior to the 2022 T20 World Cup – from November 15-17, giving touring players a final chance to push to selection ahead of the NRMA Insurance Border-Gavaskar series opener at Perth Stadium beginning on November 22.

While unusual, an intra-squad match on an away tour is not unprecedented, with Australia taking the same approach ahead of the 2019 Ashes when a Haddin XII faced off against a Hick XII at Southampton.

The Border-Gavaskar series will be the first contested over five Tests between the two nations (currently the first and second ranked Test teams) in more than 30 years, with Australia having not held the trophy since 2017 after losing the past four series 2-1.

Captain Nahan McSweeney in action for Australia A against New Zealand A last summer // Getty

"To have that running simultaneously with the women's ODIs and preceded by two significant Australia A v India A matches will be terrific for our fans," said Peter Roach, CA Head of Cricket Operations and Scheduling.

"Hosting those A matches at the upgraded Great Barrier Reef Arena and the MCG give these 'A' matches significant status and will provide great opportunities to players from both sides to put up their hand for selection."

Tickets for Australia's international summer of cricket, including the five Border-Gavaskar Tests and three women's CommBank ODIs, also against India, go on sale June 14.

Australia A v India A series

First first-class match: October 31-November 3: Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay (10am AEST)

Second first-class match: November 7-10: MCG, Melbourne (10.30am AEDT)

India v India A intra-squad match

November 15-17: WACA Ground, Perth

NRMA Insurance Men's Test Series v India

First Test: November 22-26: Perth Stadium, Perth (D)

Second Test: December 6-10: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (D/N)

Third Test: December 14-18: The Gabba, Brisbane (D)

Fourth Test: December 26-30: MCG, Melbourne (D)

Fifth Test: January 3-7: SCG, Sydney (D)

You'll want the best seat in the house for this season's action! Priority access for tickets opens June 4 – Register now