The Indian Cricket Board, on Wednesday, announced the schedule for the upcoming South Africa and Australia tour of India. Team India will face Australia and South Africa in back-to-back T20I series starting on 20th September as a part of their preparation for the 20-20 world cup which will start on 16th October. India will also play an ODI series against South Africa just before the marquee event which is just 74 days away.
The Indian team will first lock horns with Australia on 20th September in a three-match T20I series right after the Asia Cup which ends on 11th September. The first T20I will be played in Mohali with Nagpur and Hyderabad hosting the second and third matches, respectively.
The three-match T20I series against South Africa will begin on 28th September with the first match being played in Thiruvananthapuram. The two teams will play the second T20I on 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanti, to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Guwahati, followed by the last T20I at Indore.
After the two T20I series, India will also play a three-match ODI series against South Africa starting on 6th October at Lucknow. As the series will be played just ten days before the 20-20 world cup starts in Australia, the Indian Cricket board is expected to select an inexperienced team. The senior players will have flown to Australia by then and will most probably be replaced by a young team.
The two T20I series will provide India with the much-needed opportunity to finalise their team combinations and player roles before the grand event in Australia. After a first-stage exit in the last year’s 20-20 world cup, India will be desperate to make amends by winning the title this year.
The Indian team will enter the tournament under the leadership of the new captain Rohit Sharma, who has a win percentage of 82 per cent in T20 internationals. The star Indian batter Virat Kohli will hold the key for the men-in-blue at the mega event as he’s won two ‘Player of the tournament’ awards at the world cup in the 2014 and 2016 editions. The fans are desperately waiting for Kohli to come back in form and also for the opener KL Rahul to recover who got tested positive for Covid-19 recently.