For the players, workloads must be managed, red zones left unentered, rest and rotation offered. For the fans, the story is different: there can never be too much cricket.
Just weeks after the conclusion of what has been widely considered the best T20 World Cup ever, men’s international cricket has transitioned into a jam-packed period of Tests, with multiple teams set to concurrently play matches right till the end of the year. That’s right: From now, until the end of the year, we are scheduled to have Test cricket played every single day. That’s 24 days of non-stop red-ball action, beginning with the ongoing Australia-West Indies Test, and ending with the first Pakistan-New Zealand Test on December 31, if it goes to five days. The year is set to end with a bang.
Here’s the full list of Test matches set to be played for the remainder of the year:
December 8 to 12: Australia v West Indies, second Test
The final Test of the two-match series began on October 8 at the Adelaide Oval. Australia won the first Test comprehensively by 164 runs. Based on their position on day one (330-3 at stumps), and the state of West Indies’ injury-hit squad, they look in a good position to clinch the series 2-0.
Follow the AUS vs WI Test series here.
December 9 to 13: Pakistan v England, second Test
A historic Test series – this is England’s first Test visit to Pakistan in 17 years – will move to phase two with the Multan Test. England won the first Test in enthralling fashion, but trust the hosts to pose a sterner challenge in the second game.
Follow the PAK vs ENG series here.
December 14 to 18: Bangladesh v India, first Test
For the first time in seven years, neighbours India and Bangladesh will feature in a Test. Bangladesh took a 2-0 series lead in the ODI leg, but will face a stiffer challenge in a format where they have never beaten India.
Follow the BAN vs IND series here.
December 17 to 21: Australia v South Africa, first Test
For the first time since the 2017/18 series, where reputations scandalously crumbled and the world was introduced to the term ‘Sandpapergate’, Australia and South Africa will face each other in red-ball cricket. There’s plenty of build-up to the series already: more revelations from that series have come out over the last week or so. Australia are ranked No.1, South Africa are second: the competition for World Test Championship honours is hotting up as well.
December 17 to 21: Pakistan v England, third Test
December 22 to 26: Bangladesh v India, second Test
December 26 to 30: Australia v South Africa, second Test
December 27 to 31: Pakistan v New Zealand, first Test
It’s set to be New Zealand’s first Test visit to Pakistan since 2002. The side was supposed to visit Pakistan last year, before an abrupt postponement of the tour owing to security concerns. The white-ball series has been shifted to April and May. The first Test in Karachi will be New Zealand’s first in the city since October 1990.
Follow the PAK vs NZ series here.
We’ve just listed the Tests here. Among major sides, India, Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and West Indies women’s teams are set to play limited-overs matches through the month. The Lanka Premier League will continue until December 16. The Big Bash League will begin its new season on December 13. Oh, there’s also the Super Smash.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!