Indian fans will be in for a treat next year as the Indian Men’s cricket team is set to play most of its cricket in home stadiums throughout next year in preparation for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023.
With Team India failing to win any major international trophy since 2011, the next year offers Rohit Sharma and his men a chance to write their name in the history books by finally bringing home elusive trophies in two formats – Tests and One Day Internationals.
Let’s take a look at Team India’s full schedule in 2023.
India vs Sri Lanka (Home)
Team India will kick off the New Year by hosting their southern neighbour Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series.
The tour will consist of three ODIs and three T20Is, starting with the first T20I on January 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The BCCI has already announced India’s squad for both series, with Hardik Pandya leading the team in the shortest format of the game in place of the injured Rohit Sharma.
The BCCI has also announced a tentative decision to phase out seniors from its T20I squad with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul among the players most likely to be excluded from future games.
Rohit Sharma will return to lead the Men in Blue for the ODI series, however, and India will likely stick with the 35-year-old as the team’s skipper in the ODI format until the World Cup.
New Zealand vs India (Home)
New Zealand will once again tour India after a gap of just four months for a limited-overs series.
The Black Caps have just finished a tour of India in November, and will once again test their fortunes on Indian tracks in the last week of January. The tournament will see three T20Is and three ODIs – taking the total fixtures between both teams to 12 in four months.
The Black Caps have already announced the squad for their tour of India with Tom Latham leading the side in the absence of Kane Williamson.
The New Zealand Cricket Board is also reshaping its squad keeping the ODI World Cup in mind, and it appears likely that the team will experiment with new players during their tour of both India and Pakistan next month.
India vs Australia (Home)
Australia will visit India in February and March next year to conclude the current World Test Championship cycle in a four-match Test series.
The Tests are likely the most highly anticipated fixtures in India’s calendar apart from ICC tournaments as they will determine if India books a spot in the World Test Championship final.
Australia have almost confirmed their berth in the WTC final, with India and South Africa both vying for the second berth.
For Australia, the tour of India will also present a great opportunity to prepare for the ODI World Cup. Three ODIs are scheduled to be held in March, which will provide an opportunity for the five-time champions to reclaim the trophy.
Break for Indian T20 League
The longer version of the Indian T20 League means that almost two calendar months are likely to see the absence of international cricket across the world.
The BCCI is yet to announce the schedule for the Indian T20 League, but it is set to be held in April and May.
The inaugural Women’s Indian T20 League might mean a delayed start to the league, and more days with double fixtures are likely.
World Test Championship Final (England)
India are most likely to claim the second berth in the World Test Championship final – mostly due to South Africa’s miserable performances in their ongoing tour of Australia. A potential clash against Australia at The Oval in London thus awaits Rohit Sharma’s men. Fitness and fatigue will be the main issues going into the fixture – with an adequate gap between the Indian T20 League and the WTC final becoming an essential requirement.
India vs West Indies (Away)
India will then head offshore for the first time for a tour of the West Indies in July and August. The multi-format tour consists of two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. The series is likely to be ranked as low-priority by the board and the team – with India likely to rest major players for the tour.
Asia Cup 2023 (Pakistan)
Pakistan will host the Asia Cup in September 2023 – the first major tournament to be held in the country since 2008. However, India’s participation in the tournament is under a cloud – with the BCCI reluctant to send its team to the tournament. India has asked the Asian Cricket Council to shift the tournament to a neutral venue, and Pakistan has threatened to pull out of the ODI World Cup if such a move is made.
If India decide to participate in the tournament, they will be the favourites to clinch the trophy. The fixtures between India and Pakistan will attract record audience interest – and can lead to a resurgence of the ODI format which has lost its meaning in recent years.
India vs Australia (Home)
Australia will once again tour India for a three-match ODI series in September – in preparation for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. This will be the final chance for both sides to tweak their starting XIs and confirm their strategies for the World Cup.
Australia will remain in India until December when they are scheduled to play a five-match T20I series immediately following the World Cup. Much like England’s ODI series with Australia this year after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, the series is likely to be a pointless encounter scheduled to fulfil obligations.
ICC ODI World Cup 2023 (Home)
For the first time in history, India will host the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 as the sole venue.
India have managed to win the World Cup just once – in 2011 when Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifted the trophy for the Men in Blue. While the proliferation of ICC tournaments have reduced the value of trophies in recent years, the ODI World Cup still retains its charm.
With India playing the game on familiar home tracks, this will be the best chance for Team India to win the trophy. If the Men in Blue become World Champions, it will also be the perfect opportunity for many seniors like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to retire from the format on a high note.
India vs South Africa (Away)
India will then tour South Africa for a multi-format series that will extend into 2024, with two Tests scheduled in December.
India have never won a Test series in South Africa, which remains the last frontier for a brilliant touring team.
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