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First international match of each Test-playing nation in 2020

ANALYST
Feature
Published 02 Jan 2020, 08:42 IST
02 Jan 2020, 08:42 IST

India vs Sri Lanka (File Pic)
India vs Sri Lanka (File Pic)

2019 was an action-packed year in international cricket in every sense. It began with India creating history, registering their first-ever Test series win on Australian soil. On the other hand, Sri Lanka did the unthinkable, becoming the first Asian side to win a Test series in South Africa.

England maintained the recent tradition of hosts winning the World Cup by defeating (technically) New Zealand in a thrilling final. The year also saw the successful return to international cricket of Aussie duo Steve Smith and David following the end of their ball-tampering bans.

Among individuals, England all-rounder Ben Stokes, Indian captain Virat Kohli, opener Rohit Sharma, and the Australian trio of Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc had an extraordinary year. 2020 will also present some major challenges for these teams and players. On that note, we take a look at which will be the first international game of each team in the New Year.

Australia and New Zealand (3rd Test at Sydney - January 3-7)

Australia v New Zealand - 2nd Test: Day 4
Australia v New Zealand - 2nd Test: Day 4

Australia and New Zealand will kick-off 2020 by featuring in the third Test at Sydney starting from January 3. The hosts are 2-0 up in the series. They won the first Test at Perth by 296 runs thanks to another hundred by Labuschagne and Starc’s nine-wicket haul. Australia also dominated the Boxing Day Test, claiming victory by 247 runs as Travis Head made an important hundred. With the ball, Cummins picked up five wickets and James Pattinson six.

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England and South Africa (2nd Test at Cape Town - January 3-7)

South Africa v England - 1st Test: Day 4
South Africa v England - 1st Test: Day 4

England and South Africa will also play their first match of the year from January 3 to 7. It will be the second Test of the series, and will be held in Cape Town. The Proteas registered a much-needed win against the Englishmen in the first Test at Centurion. The 107-run triumph was built around Quinton de Kock’s aggressive 95. Kagiso Rabada starred with the ball, claiming seven wickets while the retiring Vernon Philander chipped in with 4 for 16 in the first innings. 

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Modified 02 Jan 2020, 17:44 IST
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