It has been confirmed by both BCCI and Cricket Australia that the two countries will be facing each other later this year. Virat Kohli and Co are scheduled for traveling to Australia in October for three T20Is after which they will defend the Border-Gavaskar trophy in December against an Australian side which will include David Warner and Steve Smith. With COVID-19 still a constant presence around the world, the visitors will have to go through a mandatory quarantine period.
Before the start of the series, West Indies squad had to spend 14 days in quarantine after landing in England on 9 June for the three-Test tour, that began on 8 July, marking the return of international cricket.
India had beaten Australia the last time they toured the country for a Test series in 2018/19. However, the Australian side were still reeling from the aftermath of the 2018 ball tampering scandal and were without star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner. The pair have made their comeback since then and while Smith scored a mind numbing 774 runs in the 2019 Ashes, Warner came back to form in Test cricket by scoring 335 off 418 balls against Pakistan later in the year.
However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Saturday that he wants a shortened quarantine period for the Indian players while confirming the series against Australia. Australia has checked the spread of the coronavirus except in Melbourne, its second-biggest city, which has witnessed a recent surge in cases. “Ya, ya, we have confirmed that tour. In December we will be coming. We just hope the number of quarantine days get reduced a bit, Ganguly said.
“Because we don’t want the players to go all that far and sit in hotel rooms for two weeks. It is very, very depressing and disappointing.”
“And, as I said Australia and New Zealand have been in good position except Melbourne. So from that point of view we will be going there and hopefully the quarantine days will be less and we can get back to cricket.” Ganguly added.
Ganguly said that the series will be more important to Kohli’s tenure as captain of the side than the World Cup.
“Because you are Virat Kohli your standards are high. When you walk out to play, when you walk out with your team, I, watching on TV, don’t expect you to just play well against Australia. I expect you to win. So you have to live up to the standards. For his captaincy tenure this will be a milestone series – more than the World Cup,” said the former India captain.
“So you have to live up to the standards. For his captaincy tenure this will be a milestone series – more than the World Cup.”
India’s series victory two years ago was their first in Australia after 71 years of trying. But Australia were without top batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith, who both missed the series due to their ball-tampering bans.
Meanwhile the Indian Premier League is still searching for a window this season, and Ganguly said he does not want 2020 to “finish without the IPL.”
The International Cricket Council will this month decide on the future of the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled for October-November in Australia and Ganguly said the decision will have a bearing on the fate of IPL.