Ind vs Aus: When is it?
After countless administrative headaches, fixture rewrites and date changes, the Australian men’s international season finally begins on Friday with the first of six limited-overs games.
Australia take on fierce rivals India in three one-dayers and three T20s through late November and early December, before the Tests begin next month.
All six white-ball games are being played in Sydney and Canberra to limit the amount of travel the two sides undertake and reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.
First ODI: November 27, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT
First T20: December 4, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm AEDT
Second T20: December 6, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Third T20: December 8, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Can I go? Will there be crowds?
Yes and yes!
You need to get in quick though with tickets in high demand. Five of the six matches are already sold out, but there are still some remaining seats for Friday’s series-opening ODI in Sydney.
Both Manuka Oval and the SCG will only be at 50 per cent capacity, with tickets starting at $30 for adults and $10 for kids. Keep an eye out on cricket.com.au/tickets in case any additional tickets become available ahead of each game.
How can I watch if I can’t attend?
For fans in Australia, all six games are exclusive to subscription platforms Fox Sports and Kayo. You can sign up to Kayo today for a free 14-day trial that gives you access to every single ball of the Australian summer of cricket as well as a host of other sports, all live on your favourite device.
ABC Radio will also be covering all the action, with fans able to find free audio streaming via cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
The link below has more details for fans outside Australia on how to watch the series.
What about live scores, news and highlights?
Cricket.com.au and the CA Live app will also have live scores and video replays of every wicket in the match centre to go with video highlights, reports and interviews from our reporters on the ground throughout the series.
You can also catch up on all the latest news via The Unplayable Podcast, where cricket.com.au’s own Sam Ferris will be joined by special guests to dissect all the talking points throughout the summer. Subscribe where you get your pods!
Cricket.com.au has you covered on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Australia ODI & T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan
Both teams are at close to full strength, though India will miss star opener Rohit Sharma for both ODI and T20 series while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was a surprise omission.
Allrounder Mitch Marsh is the only ODI incumbent who will not feature for Australia, Kane Richardson will miss both series due to the recent birth of his first child, while fellow paceman Jhye Richardson continues to be sidelined with a shoulder injury.
India captain Virat Kohli arrives on Australian shores brimming with confidence; he led India to Test and ODI series wins here two summers ago, not to mention the fact he is undoubtedly one of the finest limited-overs batsmen to ever play the game.
Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for India’s triumphs in 2018-19 but now strengthen the Aussies in all formats, with skipper Aaron Finch to command a full-strength bowling attack featuring star fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
What will they be wearing?
Shikhar Dhawan gave fans a glimpse of India’s throwback kit they’ll be wearing this summer, a dark blue strip with red, green and white stripes across the shoulders.
It comes after Australia wore a replica of their 1999 World Cup uniform against New Zealand last season, with that strip winning an online poll on cricket.com.au that drew more than half-a-million votes.
While the Aussies will not be wearing that kit again for ODIs this summer, instead donning a green and gold outfit similar to what they wore against England in September, they will follow the lead of the women’s team and wear a special Indigenous shirt for the T20s against India.
Weren’t Australia meant to be playing other teams this summer?
Yes. But the pandemic has upended the sporting world and cricket has not been immune, with planned visits from Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, West Indies and New Zealand (not to mention the T20 World Cup) all put off due to the considerable logistical challenges that now come with bringing in people from abroad.
India will play Australia in all formats before heading home in January, while the Aussies have overseas tours to New Zealand and South Africa to be played in the new year.
Why are the white-ball games being played before the Tests?
Finalising the schedule has been an administrative challenge, to put it lightly, with the T20s initially scheduled for October, Tests for December and ODIs for January.
But with the Indian Premier League being moved into the late Septmber-early November window that the postponed T20 World Cup had originally occupied, Cricket Australia shifted all the white-ball matches against India to before the Tests.
That allows both sides ample time to get more preparation against the red and pink balls ahead of the four-Test series and sees the limited-overs players, the vast majority of which featured in the recent IPL, to continue their recent white-ball heavy diet.
What’s the go with quarantine for those players arriving from abroad?
For India, their entire squad is currently serving their mandatory two-week hotel quarantine period in Sydney after arriving last week. They are being permitted to train while in lockdown but are subject to strict government protocols.
The majority of Australia’s limited-overs squad are also currently in quarantine. Those 11 players (plus Josh Philippe, who is training with the Aussies despite not being in the squad, and some support staff) are subject to the same restrictions as India.
The remainder of the Australian squad and support staff (plus D’Arcy Short, who like Philippe is training with the Aussies) are in the men’s international ‘bubble’, which allows players to spend more time outside their hotel rooms and has fewer restrictions on their training.
How about the new ODI Super League?
The one-dayers be India’s first series (and Australia’s second, after their England tour) for points in the ICC’s Cricket World Cup Super League which feed into qualification for the next 50-over World Cup in 2023.
Each of the 13 teams in the Super League are playing three ODIs against eight other teams over the next two years, with 10 points awarded for a win.
At the end of the two-year cycle, the top seven ranked teams as well as the World Cup hosts (in the case of the 2023 tournament, India) will automatically qualify for the game’s showpiece event.
That means the remaining five teams will be forced into a qualifier tournament, from which the final two spots at the World Cup will be decided.
The sheer lack of international cricket in 2020 means it is difficult to get a good read on either side.
A Smith-less Australian side iced a final-over run chase of 303 against world champions England to seal a 2-1 ODI series victory in September at Old Trafford, but went down by the same margin in the preceding T20 campaign in Southampton.
India have not played together since February’s tour of New Zealand. While they won the T20 series there, they suffered a 0-3 whitewash in the ODIs, just their third 50-over series defeat from their previous 18 bilateral encounters.
While it is impossible to pick a winner, recent history suggests it will be a closely-fought series either way; in three bilateral ODI campaigns Australia and India have played since the start of 2019, both sides have won series away and all three have come down to deciders in the final match.