Virat Kohli-led India will embark on their first international assignment since February, when they take on Australia in a full-fledged series Down Under, starting Friday.
Team India haven’t been involved in international cricket since February, when they had just lost an ODI and Test series away at New Zealand. That was followed by South Africa’s visit to India in March, and while the first ODI in Dharamsala was called off due to rain, the remainder of the tour, consisting of two more ODIs, was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia, meanwhile, returned to cricket in September when they toured England for three T20Is and as many ODIs. All matches were held behind closed doors within a bio-secure bubble owing to the pandemic. Aaron Finch and Co conceded the T20I series 1-2, they went on to seal the ODI series 2-1.
This time, Australia begin their summer of cricket with three ODIs, as many T20Is and four Tests against India. All matches will be played across four venues-Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. Cricket Australia recently confirmed that 50 percent of crowds can be allotted for the Pink Ball Test in Adelaide.
Skipper Virat Kohli will take part in the entire limited-overs series, he will be returning to India after the opening Test in Adelaide for the birth of his first child.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the high-octane ODI series:
Schedule (All times IST)
Australia vs India 1st ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney —9.10 am
Australia vs India 2nd ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney—9.10 am
Australia vs India 3rd ODI at Manuka Oval, Canberra—9.10 am
Australia vs India 1st T20I at Manuka Oval, Canberra—1.40 pm
Australia vs India 2nd T20I at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney—1.40 pm
Australia vs India 3rd T20I at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney—1.40 pm
Australia vs India 1st Test (Day/Night) at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide—9.30 am
Australia vs India 2nd Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne— 5 am
7-11 January, 2021
Australia vs India 3rd Test at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney—5 am
Australia vs India 4th Test at The Gabba, Brisbane—5.30 am
Australia ODI/T20 squad: Aaron Finch (Captain), Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Warner, Adam Zampa.
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain/wicketkeeper), Mayank Agarwal, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Navdeep Saini, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy.
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (Captain), David Warner, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, Sean Abbott.
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed. Siraj.
How can I watch the Australia vs India matches?
The Australia-India cricket matches will be live on the Sony Sports Network, along with online streaming on Sony LIV. You can also follow live score and updates on Firstpost.com.
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On Saturday and Sunday, Siraj and senior bowler Jasprit Bumrah were allegedly subjected to multiple abuses including racist slurs like "Brown Dog" and "Big Monkey", which led to eviction and subsequent arrest of six Australian spectators.
The visitors need to chase down 407 – which would be the third-highest successful chase in Test history – or, more realistically, bat out around 130 overs to leave themselves a chance of winning this series.
Play was halted for a few minutes on the fourth day of the match after India pacer Mohammed Siraj complained of abuse from a section of the SCG crowd, leading to expulsion of some spectators and an unreserved apology from the host board.