India to play four Tests, tri-series in Australia; Sri Lanka to be third team
It is the season of changes in Australian cricket and after the whole episode around Simon Katich, comes a relatively smaller one. The Cricket Australia, which had decided to do away with the three-nation series in 2008-09 after almost three decades of the competition has reintroduced it for the forthcoming season.
It is not yet known whether the series will be played on an ongoing basis, but the Cricket Australia has released the itinerary which says that Australia will play India and Sri Lanka in the three-nation series at home. And much like the last one that was played here, it is no coincidence that the two teams apart from Australia are India and Sri Lanka.
One of the reasons for the cancellation of that tri-series was the dwindling interest in the games not involving Australia. In a four-leg competition, Australia played in eight matches, but there were four others which did not have Australia, apart from the risk involved if Australia did not make it to the final.
The sense is that if there were two teams who could still incite the interest in the crowds at a neutral venue, it would be India and Sri Lanka – given the expatriate following that the countries have. Given that the Indians are the world champions, it would only be natural to expect that the interest in watching them play would be immense and will probably help fill them their coffers.
However, it will be the Test matches that one would be very interested in following; especially the ones between India and Australia. It will be a match-up between a number one side and a former number one side, which now slid to number five behind India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England. How the Aussies overcome the 2-0 loss that they suffered on two successive occasions at the hands of the Indians will remain to be seen – however, the last time India toured Australia they had lost 1-2.
The series between Australia and New Zealand starts from December 1 while the Tests against India will be played on December 26, January 3, January 13 and January 24. This will be followed by two T20Is and the tri-series.
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