Australia are all set to begin their Test summer with an inaugural Test against Afghanistan before they begin their bid to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Virat Kohli-led India in December. Cricket Australia is however set to announce their final international schedule for the 2020-21 summer, for both men's and women's team, on Friday with the condition that the governing body will reserve the right ot make changes to the schedule given the uncertain conditions owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia will face Afghanistan in a one-off Test starting November 21 with the match slated to be a day-night affair. The two teams have never faced each other in Test cricket before.
The Aussies will then take on India with the opener on December 3 at the Gabba, a venue where the hosts have won 31 consecutive games dating back to 1988, the longest active unbeaten streak in Tests at a particular venue.
India did not face Australia at the Gabba during the 2018/19 series when the visitors had claimed a historic 2-1 win and captain Tim Paine admitted "facing the Indian attack on that wicket wouldn't have been easy".
Speaking about the venue earlier in January, Indian skipper Virat Kohli reckoned, "Whether it is the Gabba or Perth, it doesn't matter to us. 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."
The second Test will be held at Adelaide on December 11-15 which is slated to be a pink-ball Test. This will be their first pick-ball meeting and India's first on overseas soil. India had played their inaugural and only pick-ball Test in November last year at home against Bangladesh with the hosts clinching an emphatic win. But the Aussies are a different force altogether in day-night Tests.
Australia have never lost a day-night Tests, winning all seven they have played so far. Meanwhile, Mitchell Starc is the presently the highest wicket-taker in the format with 42 wickets at an average of below 20.
The Boxing Day Test and New Year's Tests will be held at Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
Men's Test v Afghanistan
Only Test: November 21-25, Perth Stadium (day-night)
Men's Test Series v India
First Test: December 3-7, Gabba
Second Test: December 11-15, Adelaide Oval (day-night)
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 3-7, SCG