The year 2018 has started, with a new challenge and new hope. And the nonstop cricket has also begun with Australia regaining the Ashes and South Africa getting through the challenge of India. Here’s an article dedicated to the expectations from cricketing fraternity in the new year.
India on South African Safari
After a massive success at home and in Asia, team India begins it’s toughest assignment which is the tour of South Africa. It has already started with a defeat but it promises to be a cracker of a contest nevertheless. India found themselves wanting at Capetown but they fought with ball atleast which makes the series exciting and not one sided. India is scheduled to play 3 tests, 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is on the tour.
Pakistan tour of NewZealand
After having a fabulous 2017, Pakistan begins their year with a tough NewZealand tour, very much like it’s neighbours India. NewZealand has never been easy for Asian teams and Pakistan’s performance in the first couple of ODI ganes is reflecting that fact. Pakistan has already lost first two ODI games and is under tremendous pressure in the third game of the 5 match ODI series which will be followed by 3 T20 games.
England trying to change their fortunes in Australia
Last time when England played a One day International on Australian soil, it was a disaster for England as they lost to Bangladesh to get knocked out of the tournament. This time though, the ODI team is coming on the back of some impressive performances in the past but still they’ll have some pressure after a disappointing Ashes. Both teams will play 5 ODIs and later NewZealand will join them to play a triangular T20 series.
Australia tour of South Africa
After testing India on it’s home, the hostile SA will welcome Australia for another test. Australian team off late has been pretty much home dominant much like other teams and this will be a huge test for their team which is riding high on confidence after depleting England in Ashes. It will also be a test for Steve Smith both as a batsman and a captain. Australia and South Africa will lock horns in 4 tests starting from February and ending in April.
England takes on NewZealand
England will travel to NewZealand once the Triangular series finishes to take on NewZealand in a 5 match ODI series followed by couple of tests. Last time when NewZealand toured England, the series went down to the wire and we can expect the same this time too. A changed English team after the WC setback is expected to play good cricket on NewZealand soil while NewZealand being hosts will start as favourites.
The Massive IPL
Once these above international contests finish, we get to April-May which is the time for some fun apart from cricket. The Indian Premier League will start it’s second decade after a grand auction in January. The tournament will be played with a new flavour and will come at a different channel. The franchises have already announced the names for retention and it will be supremely exciting to see the superstars of world cricket minus Pakistan locking horns with each other.
Pakistan’s tour of England.
Not too often, you see Pakistan going outside Asia after just 2 years but this year will show you all that. In May, Pakistan is scheduled to play a couple of tests against England in England. Australia too will tour England to play 5 ODIs just after Pakistan series.
India’s challenge gets bigger
After a tough SA tour, India will also be travelling England for a long series. Both teams (India & England) are scheduled to play 5 tests, 5 ODIs and 3 ODIs in a 71 days long tour. Virat Kohli will look for resurgence as his performance in England was horrible last time. Virat Kohli vs Joe Root as captain and Kohli vs Anderson will be two exciting battles to watch.
A tour Thunder down under
India’s tough overseas year will continue with a tough Australian year at the end of the year where Kohli & Co will face a rampant Smith & Australian side at home and bowlers from both sides will be facing some tough assignments. The dates and the number of matches are yet to be decided.
ICC Under 19 World Cup
Even though the year 2018 won’t have any ICC event in seniors cricket, the ultimate level of junior cricket will start in a few days in January in NewZealand. The Under 19 Cricket World cup will start on 13th January in NewZealand with a clash between Pakistan U-19 and Afghanistan Under 19. The host NewZealand U-19 will take on Windies U-19 on the same day. India will start their campaign against Australia on 14th January.
Women’s cricket nonstop action
Apart from all the cricketing actions in men’s cricket, the female cricketers across the globe will also compete against each other to show their superiority. India will tour South Africa in February while English and Australian women team will travel India for some cricketing actions. There will be plenty of action in women’s cricket as well.