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CSA and BCCI yet to arrive on an agreement for the tour fixtures

CSA traditionally hosts either the Boxing Day Test which starts on December 26 or the New Year’s Test on the first day of the year.

Virat Kohli India
Reports suggest that the Indian team wants at least 12 days of preparation before the start of the South Africa tour. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian team is scheduled to travel to South Africa for a full tour that will either get underway late this year or in early 2018. But the two governing bodies, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) are yet to release the final fixtures for the tour amidst a standoff for the time the visitors are allowed to accustom themselves to the conditions before the tour kicks off.

They have asked for 12 days to prepare themselves for what is considered to be the toughest Test for a rampant Indian team under Virat Kohli. The CSA, on the other end, isn’t really willing to allow them that much time and wants to get done with the tour in 50 days. The Men in Blue will challenge the Proteas in 4 Tests, 3 ODIs and as many T20Is.

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Soon after the conclusion of the India tour, South Africa will host the Aussies from March 1 and thus they want to wrap the India tour up as early as possible which will allow them enough time to train for the Australian challenge.

1st Test not before Jan 10

“India finish their series with Sri Lanka on December 24 and can reach SA only by December 27. They are not ready to play the first Test before Jan 10,” a source close to the developments was quoted by TOI as saying.

CSA traditionally hosts either the Boxing Day Test which starts on December 26 or the New Year’s Test on the first day of the year. The Indian team will touch down in South Africa on December 27, after wrapping up the home series against Sri Lanka on December 24. But they are pretty certain that they won’t enter a Test match without being prepared as they want to make the most of this tour.

“But the Indian team has also made it clear that they are not going to start a Test match within five days of their arrival. They are going to SA to be competitive,” the source further stated. “It is upto them to come up with the probable permutations and combinations and let us know how they are going to deal with the situation,” the source added.

The alternatives

To ensure they play a game on the occasion CSA, might tinker with the schedule and play the LIOs before the Tests but that will give the Indian team sufficient time to get used to the conditions and South Africa wouldn’t want that either. Thus it is an interesting situation and will be interesting to see what fixtures the boards eventually agree upon.

Meanwhile, if India doesn’t agree to play either of the Tests, CSA is also contemplating inviting Pakistan or new Test member Afghanistan for a one-off Test starting on the Boxing Day.

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