Cricket’s ‘Down Under’ challenge awaits: a curtain raiser to India’s tour of Australia

credits: The New Indian Express
(Maneesh T)

The three-month long tour will kickstart on November 27

Just when arguably the world’s greatest T20 league came into a conclusion this week in the UAE, the focus of the cricketing world will right away get shifted to one of the most anticipated clashes of the year : India’s tour down under. 

The tour, which will begin with a three-match ODI series starting from November 27, will be followed by a three-match T20 series and a 4-match Test series to conclude with. 

The Indian contingent for the whole tour has left for the Australian shores yesterday, following a short camp in the Emirates. 

 

 

Team selection 

Cricket Australia today included youngsters Will Pucovski and Chris Green in their 17-player squad for the upcoming Test series against India, which will start from December 17.  

Pucovski’s selection comes two weeks after his record-breaking partnership with fellow batsman Marcus Harris, in the Australian domestic cricket competition- Sheffield Shield. 

 


Meanwhile, the Indian team has brought in opener Rohit Sharma to the test squad, which was announced two weeks before. He is still not rushed into the limited overs squad though, citing that he must be given enough time to recover from the hamstring injury that he suffered during the IPL. The mystery over his injury and the exclusion from the squad had earlier surfaced questions from cricketing corners, as he had made himself available to play for his franchise, Mumbai Indians, in the IPL. 

 


The BCCI have also said in a statement that captain Virat Kohli will return home after the first Test to join his wife, Anushka Sharma, as the couple are expecting their baby.  

 

The absence of Virat for the rest of the series will serve as a massive blow to India’s chances, as it looks to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, which it won in 2018-19, thereby becoming the first ever Indian team to register a test series win on Australian soil.

The Australian media has already created a hype around the series as they have put their entire focus on the Adelaide Test, when they would get to see arguably the world’s best batsman, for the only time in whites, this tour.

 

Jerseys get a retro mode

Team India’s rumoured limited overs jersey

Team India will be seen in a new attire in the tour. According to a report in Outlook, the new jersey is retro-themed and has been inspired by the Seventies. It will have a Navy-Blue shade, a shift from the conventional sky blue colour that the team has been wearing in recent years. 

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia yesterday unveiled an indigenous jersey for the T20I series, in a move to recognise and encourage the Indigenous Australians’ role in the sport, The Hindu reported.

 

Spectators to return

In what seems to be a going back to the norms before the pandemic, the Cricket Australia on Tuesday announced the entry of spectators for the Test series opener in Adelaide on December 17. The Day-Night Test, which will be a first-of-its-kind between the two nations, could accommodate up to  27,000 people, the association notified.