India set to play their first ever overseas pink ball Test match


If everything else goes according to plan, then we might witness the Indian Cricket team play their first ever day night Test match overseas later this year.
The Adelaide Oval, which hosts a pink ball Test match every season, will be the venue for India to make their overseas pink ball Test debut against hosts Australia this season. India are scheduled to tour Australia this November for a 4 Test match series, starting at the GABBA, Brisbane, one venue where India did not play a Test match in their previous triumphant campaign, followed by the 2nd Test at Adelaide, to be played under lights. Interestingly, the hosts have remained unbeaten at both the venues for a significant amount of time; after the West Indies trounced the Aussie by 9 wickets in 1988, no team have been able to beat the hosts at the GABBA. Australia have remained undefeated in day night matches at the Adelaide Oval as well, since its inception. The two remaining Test matches are to be played at Melbourne and Sydney.

Cricket Australia are due to confirm the tentative schedule for the 2020/21 season by the end of this week, but although venues will be allocated there will be a lot of uncertainty remaining depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops over the next few months. However, the prospect of needing hub venues to host multiple Tests appears to have receded.

It is up to the Australian government to decide upon mass gatherings, which in turn, will play a role on whether the matches will be played behind closed doors or not.

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Australia are scheduled to commence their red ball season this summer against first time visitors Afghanistan, for a one off Test match at Perth. If it goes according to plan, the WACA will be hosting a Test match after 3 years. The association had pushed hard for an India Test at the Optus Stadium, also at Perth, where Australia won a Test against India in the 2018/19 season. Due to being located at the west coast, it will also be favourable to the Indian time zone, but they will have to make do with an ODI against them this time.

Given the presence of two Test venues in the city, the state association had put themselves forward as a hub venue, along with Adelaide, should the India tour have to be based in a restricted number of cities for bio security reasons.

There might be necessities to chopping and changing the current schedule, which include T20I series against West Indies and India in the early part of the season meant to act as warm ups for the T20 World Cup, which is now expected to be postponed. The 3 match ODI series against India in January is likely to be enhanced.

There is a chance that the team could still travel overseas this year with the possibility of the limited-overs tour of England that was due for July moving to September. If the T20 World Cup is postponed, there are strong suggestions the IPL could take its place, meaning those Australian players with deals would miss part of the domestic season.

Pat Cummins, who was bought for a record Rs. 15.5 crore by the Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s IPL auction, said, “It’s not necessarily a new problem, we’ve had the Champions League (T20) in that time of the year for probably half a dozen years which has clashed with the domestic schedule here, so I’m sure whatever the solution we’ll sort it out. It’s a once-off, it’s unprecedented, so we’ll wait and see. Nothing’s for certain yet.”