Team India had one of its biggest home seasons in 2016-17 comprising of 13 tests, 8 ODIS, and 3 T20Is. The season left no one short of entertainment. Indian cricket fans thoroughly rejoiced 6 months of top quality cricket. When they look back at the season there”s only one thing they”ll say, “Ah! Those were the days!”
Just as the glory days ended, BCCI has chalked out what promises to be another cracking home season of cricket; this time around the invitees being Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. There will be a total of 23 international matches (3 tests, 11 ODIS, and 9 T20Is) to be played within a span of 3 months.
Unlike the last home season which was test cricket-oriented, this time focus is more on Ltd. over formats.
Like last season when BCCI decided to use new venues for test cricket, they are going to introduce a couple of relatively new venues. The Nehru Stadium in Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram Stadium in Kerala being the two. The Nehru Stadium has hosted 14 ODIS so far, the last one being in November 2010. The Thiruvananthapuram International Stadium was established on 26 January 2015. The Kerala Cricket Association took over the stadium in May 2016. The ground has not hosted any international matches till date.
The season commences
Australia will be the first to land in India in the home season. The tour is to be played between 17 September to 11 October. This will be there the second trip to India this calendar year. They will be avenging the 2-1 defeat in Border Gavaskar Trophy earlier in the year. Australia will play 5 ODIs at Chennai, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Indore & Kolkata and 3 T20Is at Hyderabad, Ranchi & Guwahati. The last time Australia toured India for Ltd over matches was in 2013 when they lost the 7-Match ODI series 3-2 and one-off T20I.
The Kiwi Challenge
Williamson and Co. will be touring India second time in two years, this time a brief 3 ODI and 3 T20I tours beckon them. The 3 ODIS will be played at Pune, Mumbai & Kanpur followed by 3 T20 Internationals at Delhi, Cuttack, and Rajkot between 22 October to 7 November. The last time New Zealand toured India, they were whitewashed 3-0 in tests and lost ODI series by 3-2 in September – October 2016.
Sri Lankan tour
This is the only full tour in the home season. India will be playing 3 matches of each format between 15 November to 24 December. Kolkata, Delhi & Nagpur will host Test matches against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will play 3 ODIs at Dharamsala, Mohali, Vizag and 3 T20I at Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram, Indore, Mumbai. Sri Lanka is infrequent visitors to India. The last time they came here for a full tour was in 2009 when they lost test series 2-0 and ODI series 3-1. They, however, manage to square T20 series 1-1.
A lot of exciting cricket awaits us. Let”s hope this will be a season to remember.
– by Atharva Apte