2019 was a great celebration of cricket, with a stunning World Cup spectacle in the UK and the start of the World Test Championship which played host to numerous thrilling test matches including an unforgettable Ashes series. 2020, in stark contrast, has seen next to no international cricket – leaving fans and players revelling in memories from years gone by and browsing the latest equipment in the hopes of playing in the new season.
However, with the global pandemic seemingly under control and the ‘bubble’ system for squads making play secure, International cricket can resume. Despite the lack of crowds, the upcoming fixtures should be exhilarating. Here are some of the duels to look out for.
Australia v India
Two titans of International cricket come face to face again, which promises to be as captivating as India’s last tour of Australia in 2019. Starting on the 27th November, Australia and India will lock horns in 3 ODI’s, 3 T20I’s and 4 Test matches – including the traditional Boxing Day Test at the MCG. Sparks were flying between captains Tim Paine and Virat Kohli in 2019, so the meeting of these two again will be fascinating. Furthermore, the series should be a spectacle for batting enthusiasts, with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul coming up against the world beating Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.
South Africa v England
England have travelled to South Africa for a white-ball tour in November and December, starting in Cape Town on the 27th. The two teams will battle it out in 3 T20I’s and 3 ODI’s, with many of the standout players included from the recent Indian Premier League tournament in the UAE. The series will showcase arguably the best bowlers in world cricket right now, with Jofra Archer, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje coming off the back of exceptional IPL performances. Batting power will not be missed either with the one-day World Cup champions, England, aiming to continue their streak of dominance.
New Zealand v West Indies
The Kiwis host the West Indies for 5 matches, starting on the 27th November. 3 T20I’s and 2 Test matches will be played, with both sides aiming to start preparations for the T20 World Cup next year and boost their rankings in the World Test Championship. The series also sees some of the best performers from the IPL go head to head, including Trent Boult who was awarded man of the match in the final.
More cricket is scheduled for the start of 2021 but there is still so much to be excited for in the coming weeks. With news of a Coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, hopefully cricket will be graced with fans in stadiums again soon, but for now cricket behind closed doors will suffice.