The HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala will not host the third Test match in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series between India and Australia because it has been ruled unsuitable for use. Consequently, the third Test match, which will be contested between March 1 and 5, will take place in Indore’s Holkar Stadium, according to the BCCI’s announcement made on Monday.

The outfield is underdeveloped and will take some time to properly grow because of the region’s tough winter weather, according to a statement from BCCI.

When Australia last visited India in the 2016–17 series, India had won the Border–Gavaskar Trophy in Dharamsala. India’s victory against the then-Steve Smith-led team by eight wickets in the series finale saw Kuldeep Yadav’s stunning debut for the team. After Australia’s stunning 333-run victory in the Pune opener, which still stands as the hosts’ sole home defeat since 2012, India found themselves down 0-1 and in the lead. Before the Ranchi match being drawn, India had tied the series in Bengaluru, making the final Test in Dharamsala the series decider.

Until this day, HPCA Stadium has only ever hosted one Test game. Five ODIs and 11 T20Is have been held there, nevertheless. In terms of the Holkar Stadium, Indore most recently played home to the third One-Day International between India and New Zealand last month, when centuries from Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma built the groundwork for the Men in Blue’s 90-run victory. The stadium has only held one other Test match so far, against Bangladesh in November 2019. It previously hosted its first Test match, between India and New Zealand, back in 2016. The venue has only hosted three Test games overall. Six ODIs and three T20Is were played at the stadium between 2006 and the present, which mostly serves as a site for white-ball matches.

Regarding the current series, India has a 1-0 lead after putting up a spectacular performance in Nagpur last week, when they defeated Pakistan by innings and 123 runs. Both Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja pulled up a five-wicket haul, which allowed India to win the match in three days.

The series finale will take place at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium beginning March 9, while the second Test match will be played in New Delhi beginning February 17 and the second Test match in New Delhi beginning February 17.