We are only a week into 2014. Here is a look at the major cricket tournaments taking place in the New Year.
India vs New Zealand: India kick off the year with a tough tour of New Zealand, where they will play five one-dayers and two Tests from January 19 to February 18. India have won the last three Test series’ held between the two sides, but two of them were in India. The series in New Zealand in 2009 saw benign pitches. India also won the ODI series in New Zealand in 2009. Following the loss in South Africa, they would be keen to begin the New Year on a high.
Australia vs England: Following the disaster in the Ashes, England would be looking to make amends in the shorter version although nothing can reduce the wounds of the 5-0 whitewash. England and Australia will battle it out in five one-dayers and three T20s from January 12 to February 2. The teams have had mixed fortunes in recent ODI clashes. Australia won 6-1 in 2011, England won 4-0 in 2012 while Australia clinched the series 2-1 last year. Can England fight back from the recent disaster?
South Africa vs Australia: One of the biggest rivalries of all time, South Africa and Australia will battle it out again, this time in South Africa. The teams will feature in three Tests and three T20s from February 12 to March 14. Both Australia and South Africa would be buoyed by their recent success. The contests between the two sides in recent years have been extremely close. South Africa won 2-1 in 2008/09, Australia hit back winning 2-1 in 2009. The series in 2011/12 was drawn 1-1 while the Proteas won another close contest 1-0 in 2012/13.
ICC World T20: The 2014 ICC World T20 is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6. While Bangladesh wouldn’t otherwise figure among the top teams, they would be keen to put up an impressive show at home. Remember, they actually made it to the final of the previous edition of the Asia Cup. West Indies were brilliant in Sri Lanka en route to winning the championship. It remains to be seen whether they can repeat their magic on the sub-continent yet again.
England vs Sri Lanka: England would look to continue their dominance at home when they take on Sri Lanka in one T20, five ODIs and two Tests from May 20 to June 24. England beat Sri Lanka in England in the Test series in 2011 while the series between the sides was drawn 1-1 in 2012. England have won the last two ODI series’ played in 2007/08 and 2011.
India vs England: In a lengthy tour, India will play five Tests, five ODIs and one T20 from July 9 to September 7. The series will be extremely important for India since they were thrashed 4-0 in England in the Tests in 2011 and 2-1 at home in 2012. India will have a point to prove for sure.
--By A Cricket Analyst