After the World Cup, the focus will again shift back to the bilateral series. And India have quite a busy home season lined up ahead.
The T20I fixtures will gain special importance ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup. This period will also see the commencement of the ICC World Test Championship.
In this article, we take a look at India’s three upcoming series to watch out for.
#1 India tour of West Indies (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs, 2 Tests)
The tour of West Indies will be India’s first assignment after the World Cup. The T20I series will see the Men in Blue begin their preparations for next year’s T20 World Cup, a coveted trophy which they haven’t won since the tournament’s inaugural edition.
The selectors have named an exciting squad for the T20s with plenty of fresh faces.
In the ODI series Kohli’s men will look to work on their middle-order which has been unstable in the last four years. The likes of Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer will get an opportunity to audition for these roles.
The Test series will be India’s first challenge in the ICC World Test Championship. West Indies, who have a potent fast-bowling attack, will test India’s ability against pace, bounce and seam movement.
Over the last one year, West Indies have defeated Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England on their home soil, so this promises to be a tough series for India.
#2 Freedom Trophy (3 T20Is, 3 Tests)
India’s home season will commence with South Africa touring India. This promises to be another exciting series.
India have been a dominant force on home soil in all three formats. Barring a T20I and ODI series loss to Australia recently, they have been unbeaten in India since the start of 2016.
The last time South Africa toured India in 2015, they defeated India 3-2 in the ODI series and 2-0 in the T20I series. The Test matches were one-sided in India’s favor, although they were marred with controversy due to India producing rank turners.
When India last year toured South Africa, they lost a closely fought Test series but won both the ODI and T20I series comprehensively. This time around, South Africa look like a weaker team but their impressive record in the subcontinent means that India will have to be on their toes.
#3 India tour of New Zealand (3 ODIs, 5 T20Is, 2 Tests)
After the conclusion of the home season, India will tour New Zealand for 3 ODIs, 5 T20Is and a 2-match Test series in February. The major focus as always will be on the Test series.
After winning the Test series in Australia, India will look to build a good record in SENA countries, where their record under MS Dhoni’s leadership was underwhelming.
New Zealand have been a force to be reckoned with in Test matches recently, especially in their own backyard. Since Kane Williamson took the reins in 2016, they have lost just one Test series on home soil. Their pace attack, led by Tim Southee and Trent Boult, have often laid the platform for their Test victories.
With India having enough wherewithal in the bowling and batting departments, they can challenge Kiwis on their home soil. Experts believe that this is India’s best ever bowling attack, and Kohli’s men will look to upset New Zealand’s strong home record.Published 27 Jul 2019, 17:12 IST