The Indian cricket team will play two Twenty20 Internationals and five ODIs against the Australian cricket team in what will be the final international assignment for Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. However, there has been a slight modification in the schedule with Bangalore, which was scheduled to host the first Twenty20 International on February 24 has requested the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) to host the first match. The reason sighted was the lack of security for the match due to the Aero India Show which will be held on February 24 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the Karnataka State Cricket Association wrote to the Andhra Cricket Association stating that an ‘adverse’ development has taken place and it was because of this that the KSCA proposed the match to be shifted. The letters, which are in possession with Hindustan Times and written by KSCA president Sanjay Desai and ACA general secretary Arun Kumar, stated that the Police Commissioner of Bangalore was unable to guarantee the required security support due to the Aero India Show which will be held on February 24. The letter urged the ACA to swap the dates with theirs for the T20Is against Australia. BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary wrote to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) informing them about the move and Diana Edulji approved it.
With this, the first Twenty20 International will take place at the ADA-VDCA stadium in Vizag on February 24 followed by the second T20I at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on February 27. Following the end of the T20Is, the ODI series will be played.
The first match will take place on March 2nd in Hyderabad, followed by a game on March 5 at the VCA stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur. The series will then shift to Ranchi for the third ODI on March 8 while the fourth game will be played at PCA stadium in Mohali on March 10. The series will then end with the fifth and final ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. This series will be the last international fixture after which the IPL will begin from March 23 and will be played in India.
After the end of the IPL around mid-May, the Indian cricket team will head to England for the World Cup, which will be hosted in that country after a gap of 20 years. Kohli’s side are currently the No.2 ranked side and will be aiming to win the World Cup for the third time after securing victory in 1983 and 2011.