Editor’s Pick: IN vs AU – Preview of an intense tour down under

Indian cricket team finally returns to the field after a long break as they kick off the tour of Australia with one-day international series. 

Indian Cricket Team played their last international game in February, during India’s tour of New Zealand. This global shutdown due to pandemic brought international cricket to a standstill for six long months. Nothing like this has ever happened to the sport of cricket since World War II.

England and Wales Cricket Board became the first board to host international cricket after the coronavirus hit. They hosted a three-game Test series against West Indies to announce the return of international cricket. Since England successfully hosted West Indies, various bi-lateral series and franchise leagues have gone ahead. The latest addition to the cricketing event was BCCI’s marquee league – Indian Premier League (IPL). The lucrative T-20 league was shifted to Emirates due to high lockdown protocols in India.

The Indian team that has not played any international cricket since the Covid-19 curfew is set to resume international cricket with a tour of Australia. It is going to be an exciting return for the team as they play against a strong Australian side. A tour down under is always intriguing, but the current circumstances make it even more special.

India’s idea for the retro jersey

The series will kickstart on November 27, with one-day international series. It would be followed up with the T20 International series and then would come to the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India has recently announced their new apparel sponsor in Mobile Premier League after ending the 15-year-long deal with Nike. The new kit sponsor could not use the old kit’s design because Nike has the copyrights for the old design. Eventually, MPL and BCCI decided to change the entire attire and go retro. To avoid copyright infringements, the BCCI and MPL asked the players about kit suggestions, and the Indian team chose the World Cup 1992 kit.

During the 1992 World Cup, Indian the team wore the dark blue jersey with multi-coloured broad stripes on the shoulders. The World Cup was the first ICC tournament where the teams wore colored jerseys, but India’s outing with this kit was not memorable as they had a poor World Cup. Since then, the Indian team has gone with lighter jerseys.

After the tour of Australia, the kit sponsors MPL will come up with a new design for the Indian team.  The Indian team would wear the 1992 jersey in all of the limited-overs matches in the Australian series. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the kit, so it will be interesting to see how it looks on players during games. 

Border-Gavaskar Trophy

The white-ball cricket during the Australia tour is likely to be competitive as both sides have balanced lineups. India is missing Rohit Sharma due to injury, but there is a lot of promising young talent in the squad that can step up in his absence. All white-ball games will be competitive, but eyes will be on the test series as a lot is on the line for both sides. After three-game series in ODIs and T-20s, the focus will shift to Border Gavaskar Trophy.

The Indian team will be touring Australia after two years. Last time in 2018, the team had some remarkable outings. The last series had three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests in it, and the men in Blue lost none.

The T20Is series was tied, while the One Day International series was won by the visitors. India started the ODI series with a loss. Despite the big defeat, the Indian boys bounced back well. A phenomenon called Mahendra Singh Dhoni was India’s X-factor in ODI series. The former cricketer and India’s most beloved captain MSD remained unbeaten in the ODI series and helped India to clinch a series win in Australia after 11 years.

After the limited series, the Indians fans witnessed something miraculous. The Indian cricket team won their first Test series in Australia. The Indians were trying to achieve the wonder since 1947-48, but Virat Kohli and his company became the first Indian team to win.

Many critics demean India’s glory by saying Australia was without Steve Smith and David Warner, but in reality, it was the team’s effort that helped them to register a historic victory. Cheteshwar Pujara batted long for India in that series. He was well backed by captain Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, and Rishabh Pant in the batting department. Then, the Indian fast-bowling trio also has an equal share in the glory. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma took Australia’s 20 wickets throughout the series. The Aussies were always on the backfoot when these three were testing the hosts with their hard lines and lengths.

However, the tables have turned now. It seems that the Indian team is looking weak in front of Australia. Reasons maybe due to the Indian captain Virat Kohli who will come back to India after the Day and Night Test, while Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are unlikely to be fit for the Test series.

Australia will be looking for hard revenge, and after the return of Smith-Warner, they seem unbeatable. The cherry on top for the hosts is Marnus Labuchangne. The young middle-order batsman has been Australia’s trump card since last summer.

The Border-Gavaskar trophy will commence on December 17 with the Pink ball Test at Adelaide Oval. As of now, odds are well stacked against India, but you never know the replacements for big players grab their opportunities and put up a show. Nevertheless, for various reasons, this tour is setting up well as Indian fans now have to wait for a few hours to watch Men in Blue in action.

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