Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday announced the venues for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India. During the four-match Test series, Virat Kohli and Co. will also play their first away Day-Night match in Adelaide.
There were speculations that India's tour of Australia was unlikely due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the announcement has put to rest all the doubts over the big-ticket series between two heavyweights of world cricket. The series is touted to be worth $300 million.
According to reports, the series, which will be a part of the inaugural ICC Test Championship, will start on December 3 with the first match at the Gabba, Brisbane. The first and third-ranked teams will then head to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
The second match, a pink ball Test, will start from December 11, followed by the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Tests respectively.
Here are the Test fixtures:
First Test: The Gabba, December 3
Second Test (D/N): Adelaide Oval, December 11
Third Test: Melbourne Cricket Ground, December 26
Fourth Test: Sydney Cricket Ground, early January
India, under Kohli, registered their first-ever Test series win Down Under last in 2018-19 with the Aussies missing the services of two top batsmen -- Steve Smith and David Warner due to due to their ban for involvement in sandpaper-gate in South Africa.
In February, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed to play a Day-Night Test during the upcoming Australia tour. India had declined Australia's offer to play a Day-Night Test in Adelaide in 2018-19, citing lack of experience. But this time, Australia's persistence paid off.
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India played their maiden Day-Night Test against Bangladesh last November at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata winning the match quite comfortably with plenty of time to spare.
But it will be a tough ask for the tourists to repeat the feat against a re-inforced Australian side, which have never lost a Day-Night Test in their previous seven outings.
Earlier in the day, a BCCI source told PTI that "India is most certainly going to Australia and England is coming for a five-match series in India. As far as South Africa T20 series is concerned, let Cricket South Africa decide where they stand as far as ICC policy matters are concerned."
The tour, which will begin with a T20 tri-series in October, will also include an ODI series. In between, there is the T20 World Cup, scheduled for an October 18 start, but the mega event is likely to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The postponement of this T20 World Cup is expected to be formalised when the International Cricket Council's (ICC) all-powerful board holds a teleconference on Thursday.
The decision, if it is formalised, will give members a chance to chalk out their bilateral blueprint in the coming months, and more importantly for the BCCI, a window to hold the lucrative Indian Premier League in October.
"There is a good chance that postponement of World T20 will be decided during Thursday's board meeting. Whether there will be a formal announcement or not is the question," an ICC board member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"There is very little chance of World T20 going ahead in this situation. I don't think either Cricket Australia or the top boards will mind," he added.