Mitchell Starc set to test Kohli & Co with pink ball as Cricket Australia announces schedule for India series
Cricket Australia has announced the dates for the four-match Test series against India, along with the limited overs matches, slated for later this year and the schedule includes the first ever day-night Test between the two teams. Australia has been hosting a pink ball Test every year since 2015, but had to make an exception in 2018 when BCCI refused to include it in the schedule.
The series starts with three T20Is in October, followed by four Test matches in December and January and three ODIs thereafter. The first Test will be played at Brisbane, followed by the day-night Test at Adelaide. Melbourne and Sydney will get the customary third and fourth matches of the series.
The four match series in 2018 was won 2-1 by Virat Kohli’s India, thus giving the tourists their first ever Test series win on Australian soil. India has since played one day-night Test, a one-sided affair in Kolkata against the hapless Bangladeshis.
India are ready for the challenge this time around and are expected to play the pink ball match at the Adelaide Oval, if the series goes ahead, despite the challenges posed but the coronavirus outbreak. Virat Kohli and his men will be gunning for glory down under again, knowing very well that this is their chance to silence critics once and for all. India’s series win last time came when Australia’s batting superstars Steve Smith and David Warne were still serving their international bans for their role in the ball tampering controversy.
Kohli’s India succumbed to a 0-2 loss in New Zealand earlier this year and would want to turn the tide in their quest to become the best Test team of the generation.
One man who will pose a huge threat to Kohli and his men is Aussie left arm quick Mitchell Starc. Starc is the most successful bowler in pink ball Tests, having picked up 42 wickets in 7 matches at a sub-20 average. The lanky paceman is really excited about bowling at the Indians in a day-night Test.
“I think absolutely a pink-ball Test in the series against India is a great thing,” Starc was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“The fans love it, I think it creates a different aspect to the contest, bat and ball are closer together in that contest.
“India played a pink-ball game in India so they’re not completely foreign to it.
Having played more pink ball matches than India could be an advantage for the hosts but Starc believes that is what home advantage is all about.
“In terms of an advantage, if you like, we do have a good record at home with the pink ball.
“That might come into a home-ground advantage and it’s no different to us going to India and they’ve got the advantage there.
“It’d be great to have a pink-ball contest in that series and from the little bits I’ve seen and heard, India are very much open to that as well so that’s fantastic,” Starc said.
Till date Australia has been victorious in 12 series while India has bagged 9. It is interesting though that India first won a series against the the Aussies in 1979-80. Since then India has won 9 while the Aussies have won 6. It is interesting as majority of this era in global cricket has been dominated by the Aussies.
India should thus be proud of its record against the Australians over the last 40 years.