As New Zealand's tour of India reaches its home stretch, preparations have already begun for the second part of the Indian cricket season, with a bilateral engagements against England, which promises to be every bit a contest as close as it gets.
The English contingent arrives in India at the onset of the Indian winter, and are to take part in a marathon five-match Test series starting 9 November. The series will see venues like Rajkot and Visakhapatnam host Test cricket for the first time ever, while Mohali, Mumbai and Chennai hosting the remaining games.
The last time the two sides faced off in a Test series was also a five-game affair, with visitors India surrendering a lead to lose 1-3 to a dominant England in the 2014 edition of the Pataudi Trophy. However, ever since Virat Kohli took over the Test captaincy, he has done a spectacular job, winning 10 out of the 17 Tests that he has led the team in. The hosts would hope this run continues, while England would be preparing themselves for a fresh challenge.
Both teams are in good form at the moment. While the Indians whitewashed New Zealand in the three-Test series, and are leading the ODI series 2-1, England are on top after defeating Bangladesh 2-1 in the three-ODI series — something that teams such as South Africa, India and Pakistan have failed to achieve in recent memory — and pulled off a thrilling win over the hosts in the first Test at Chittagong.
Their series would involve the English team return home for a month-long Christmas break, before returning in mid-January for three ODIs and as many T20Is, for which where Dhoni and Eoin Morgan take over the captaincy duties from Kohli and Alastair Cook for India and England respectively.
Here's a detailed look at the itinerary for England's tour of India, and details on how to keep up with the action:
1st Test: 9-13 November at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.
2nd Test: 17-21 November at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam.
3rd Test: 26-30 November at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh.
4th Test: 8-12 December at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
5th Test: 16-20 December at MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk, Chennai
1st ODI: 15 January at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.
2nd ODI: 19 January at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack.
3rd ODI: 22 January at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
1st T20I: 26 January at Green Park, Kanpur.
2nd T20I: 29 January at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur.
3rd T20I: 1 February at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
WHERE TO WATCH: All matches will air on Star Sports, with the Tests starting at 9.30 am IST. All three ODIs will be day-night affairs, while the T20Is will take start at 7.00 pm. For those who wish to catch the action on the internet, one can simply log on to hotstar.com, either on a desktop or through a smartphone.
Both the BCCI and the ECB are yet to announce their squads for the upcoming fixtures. Do stay tuned to Firstpost Sports to be the first to know every detail!