Sydney: Australia will host India and Afghanistan for Test series, while limited-overs internationals are scheduled against Zimbabwe, New Zealand, West Indies and India.
With Australia among the countries opening up and lifting restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia on Thursday, 28 May, took their first steps in resuming international cricket, announced the schedule for their summer. However, they acknowledged that circumstances might force a change.
The men's team will begin their summer with a three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe starting August 9, followed by T20I series against West Indies and India. They play an inaugural Test against Afghanistan in Perth, while Gabba will host the opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India.
The Afghanistan Test will take place from November 21 to 25 and will be a day/night affair. The first of the four Tests against India begins on December 3 in Brisbane. The second Test (December 11-15) will be a pink-ball one at the Adelaide Oval, while the third (December 26-30) and fourth (January 3-7) Tests will be at the MCG and SCG, respectively.
In January this year, India captain Virat Kohli had said that he was looking forward to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy irrespective of the venue. "Whether it is the Gabba or Perth, it doesn't matter to us," he said. "We have the skillsets as a team to compete against anyone in the world anywhere, whether it is white ball, pink ball or red ball. We are absolutely up for it."
For Australian cricketers, the Gabba has been a favourite ground with numerous wins. "We can't wait to come to the Gabba, knowing that Australian sides play well and win a lot of Test matches here," Test skipper Tim Paine had said ahead of last year's Test match.
"It's where we traditionally like to start so it feels like the Australian summer when you get together and get out on the Gabba. It's a great place for us to play – the wicket suits Australian sides really well so to start here is fantastic and the boys are really looking forward to it."
Australia paceman Mitchell Starc had welcomed the idea of a day/night Test against India, which will take place in Adelaide from December11.
"I think absolutely a pink-ball Test in the series against India is a great thing," Starc said. "The fans love it, I think it creates a different aspect to the contest, bat and ball are closer together in that contest.
"India played a pink-ball game in India so they're not completely foreign to it ... It'd be great to have a pink-ball contest in that series and from the little bits I've seen and heard, India are very much open to that as well so that's fantastic."
Full fixtures list: Australia v Zimbabwe
August 9: 1st ODI, TBC
August 12: 2nd ODI, TBC
August 15: 3rd ODI, Riverway Stadium, Townsville
Australia v West Indies
October 4: 1st T20I, Riverway Stadium, Townsville
October 6: 2nd T20I, Cazaly’s Stadium Cairns
October 9: 3rd T20I, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast
Australia v India
October 11: 1st T20I, Gabba, Brisbane
October 14: 2nd T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra
October 17: 3rd T20I, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Australia v Afghanistan
November 21-25: Only Test, Perth Stadium, Perth
Australia v India
December 3-7: 1st Test, the Gabba, Brisbane
December 11-15: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
December 26-30: 3rd Test, Boxing Day Test, Australia v India at the MCG, Melbourne
January 3-7: 4th Test, SCG, Sydney
January 12: 1st ODI, Perth Stadium, Perth
January 15: 2nd ODI, MCG, Melbourne
January 17: 3rd ODI, SCG, Sydney
Australia v New Zealand
January 26: 1st ODI, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
January 29: 2nd ODI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
January 31: 3rd ODI, Blundstone Arena, Hobart
February 2: Only T20I, SCG, Sydney