Melbourne: Ahead of the four-Test series against India, Cricket Australia has decided to send an advance group of eight players to the subcontinent on Thursday to get acclimatised to the conditions.
     
The National Selection Panel, headed by chief selector John Inverarity, has also finalised the departure dates of the squad, which would travel to India in three separate groups depending on the current international commitments.
     
"The players in the 17-man squad will travel to India in three separate groups in an effort to find the best balance for players," Inverarity said.
     
"It is planned to have Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Steve Smith travel to India on 7 February," he added.
     
Million dollar man, Glenn Maxwell, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for the Indian Premier League 6 at a whopping price of USD 1 million, will leave for India in the second batch on February 9.
     
"Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade will depart on 9 February, as will David Warner who is unavailable for the remainder of the Australian international summer as he recovers from his thumb injury," Inverarity said.
     
"The remaining six players - Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Starc, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson - will travel on 11 February at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Bank Series against West Indies. These plans are subject to minor alterations."
     
Australia will play two warm-up games in Chennai ahead of the first Test in the same city on February 22-26.

(Agencies)

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