Cricket in 2021: A look at Team India's schedule for the year
First Published Jan 1, 2021, 2:08 PM IST
Team India is currently taking on Australia, Down Under, as it defends the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The side is ranked third in Test, second in One-Day Internationals and third in Twenty20 Internationals. Delays mostly marred 2020 due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
As the new year kicks in, sports fans are looking forward to it, in the hope that there are no further delays of their favourites sports, unlike the previous year, owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Indian fans are looking forward to cricket, as Team India is undoubtedly scheduled to be in action.
In Australia, the side is already in action, as it is defending the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, while the four-Test series is currently locked 1-1. But what's next? As per the Future Tours Programme (FTP), we present the tentative schedule, issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
England in India: This happens to be the only confirmed home series for India, for the year. England is scheduled for a complete tour from February 5, as the sides would be involved in four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs. The series would be played across three venues: Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune. The series would also be a part of the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship.
Afghanistan in India: As per the ICC FTP, Afghanistan is scheduled to play in India for a three-match ODI series, somewhere in March-April. Although both the boards are yet to confirm the same, it would be Afghanistan's first-ever bilateral ODI series against India.
IPL 2021: Not exactly an international series for Team India, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most significant domestic Twenty20 (T20) tournament in the world. As per the tentative window announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it is scheduled between April-May.
WTC final: The ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in the final Test series for India in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. Provided it wins the series, India would be in strong contention to play the final, to be held at Lord's, in June. As of now, India is placed second, based on the percentage of points won, while Australia tops the table.
Asia Cup: India is to travel to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup. Although the tournament was scheduled to be held last year, the pandemic led to its postponement. India is the defending champion, while the competition would be played in the T20 format, to warm-up for the ICC World T20.
Away to Lanka: After the Asia Cup, India would continue its brief stay in Lanka, as it is scheduled to take on Lanka for a short three-match T20I series, in July. The warm-up for the WT20 just keeps getting better for India.
Away to England: The second and only away tour confirmed for the year, India would also be travelling to England for a five-Test series. It would get underway from August 4 and would be played across four venues: Trent Bridge, Lord's, Headingley, The Oval and Old Trafford. The series would be a part of the 2021–23 ICC World Test Championship.
South Africa at home: Following the England Tests, India would be back at home for limited-over commitments against Proteas, in October. The two sides are scheduled to play three ODIs and T20Is each. The T20Is would be the final warm-up before the WT20.
WT20 in Australia: India would then travel to Australia for the WT20, the same month. The tournament would be held after a gap of five years. Although initially scheduled to held last year, the pandemic led to the postponement. Windies is the two-time defending champion of the same.
New Zealand at home: After the WT20 extravaganza, India would be involved in further home commitments, as it would take on the Kiwis in a two-Test series and three T20Is, in November. The Tests would once again be a part of the WTC, while India would continue to focus on T20Is, as it hosts the WT20 next year.
Away to South Africa: The year's final commitment of Team India would be to South Africa, in December. The teams would play three Tests, for the WTC, besides playing three T20Is.
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