While Team India is gearing to face West Indies from February 6 in a three-match ODI series in Ahmedabad with as many T20 Internationals to follow in Kolkata, soon after they will host Sri Lanka for two Test matches and three T20Is. The Test series, according to the current schedule, is set to commence on March 25 in Bengaluru while the second and final game of the series will be played in Mohali.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board have had a word and have seemingly decided to tweak the itinerary a bit to ensure a smooth bubble to bubble transfer.
According to this schedule, the first two T20Is are expected to be played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA) in Dharamsala, while the third and final T20I will be played in the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (PCA) in Mohali.
Apart from the last T20I match, the Mohali Stadium in Punjab will also host the first Test match. This means the second and final Test will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
“There is a chance that the first two T20Is to start the tour will be played in Dharamshala before the series moves to Mohali for the third T20I and the first Test. Lucknow may miss out on hosting a T20I. Having the pink ball Test in Mohali is difficult since dew is expected to play a big role. However, BCCI is still monitoring the Covid-19 situation in the country. A final call to tweak the schedule will be taken soon,” Crictracker reported.
The Bengaluru test will be the pink ball under lights as the Chinnaswamy Stadium recently upgraded its floodlights. The reason for the change, according to a Karnataka State Cricket Association official is due to the fact that Bengaluru offers direct connectivity to Colombo, which would then allow Sri Lanka to fly home without a stopover.
Virat Kohli’s 100th Test:
While the changes will be made after the Sri Lankan team lands in India, this would also mean that former India captain Virat Kohli might miss out on playing his 100th Test in Bengaluru, as previously scheduled.
According to the older schedule, Kohli was to play this milestone match in Bengaluru – home of his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Incidentally, the last time India played a pink-ball Test at home was also the last time Kohli had scored a century.
The Men in Blue have so far played only two Test matches at home with the pink ball under the lights against Bangladesh (in Kolkata) and England (in Ahmedabad).