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5 international cricket series to look forward to in 2015

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14.35K   //    20 May 2015, 18:00 IST

While this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is coming to an end on Sunday, cricket fans need not worry as there is no shortage of action in the coming months with plenty of mouthwatering international contests to look forward to. Whether it is the Ashes series starting in July or the series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan scheduled for December, one can expect to see some top quality cricket from some of the best cricketers in the world today. 

Here are 5 international tours to look forward to this year:

1. New Zealand’s tour of England (May-June 2015)

England have to quickly find their best form to overcome New Zealand

New Zealand begin their tour of England on May 21 with 2 Test matches, followed by 5 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 1 Twenty20 international (T20I). Going into the series, England are in a state of turmoil following the sacking of head coach Peter Moores and the perennial controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen’s future.

On the other hand, New Zealand are coming on the back of a successful World Cup campaign where they were only beaten by Australia in the final. It would be particularly interesting to see how England batsmen cope with the fast bowling pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who have tasted a lot of success in the recent past and are arguably the best in the world. Since January 1, 2014, Boult has picked up 38 wickets from 10 Tests at an average of 29 while Southee isn’t too far behind with 35 wickets to his name. In addition, they have one of the best captains in the world currently in the form of Brendon McCullum, who has played an instrumental role in turning New Zealand into one of the top sides in world cricket. 

2. The Ashes (July-August 2015)

The coveted urn that England & Australia will be battling for

The 2015 Ashes series in England is undoubtedly among the most highly anticipated series in the coming year. England will begin their attempt to regain the coveted urn from Australia on July 8 in Cardiff, the venue of the first Test match. While Australia are once again a formidable force and considered strong favourites to emerge victorious, it shouldn’t be forgotten that England are an extremely competitive unit in their own backyard and have won the last 3 Ashes series on home soil. 

The series could well come down to how well the English batsmen handle the Australian pace bowling attack of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Ryan Harris, who are widely expected to be their first-choice pacers. 

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