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Why Aussies must play India’s AWAY Tests in January under new schedule


Australia’s five-decade stranglehold on an unbroken summer of domestic cricket will come to an end in 2026-27 with a January test tour to India.

The world schedule for the next four years was released on Wednesday, with Australia signaling plans to play more cricket against England and India.

At least one of the two nations will tour for at least one format in most coming summers, while the Test series against India will span five matches.

Australia will also host the West Indies in back-to-back Test summers, with the Caribbean men touring in December 2022/23 and January 2023/24 due to the ICC World Test Championship draw.

And a Winter Test will also return in August 2026 against Afghanistan, while January will now be devoid of white-ball Australian men’s internationals in favor of the BBL.

But it’s in 2026-27 that fans will notice the biggest change.

Australia will host New Zealand for a series of three Tests over the traditional Christmas and New Year period before traveling to India for five Tests in January and February.

The Australians will then return for two Tests against Bangladesh at home in March, which will collide at the start of major football seasons.

These matches will be the last men’s Tests played in Australia since 1979, while it will also be the first time Australia have played a red ball game away in January since 1970.

“That’s the potential trade-off because in other years we have an increased level of content compared to our main (visitors),” Cricket Australia chief operating officer Peter Roach told AAP.

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“It would be less complicated if we had four tests against India, because we could have done two more before leaving.

“With India, that’s the window they’ve identified as their favorite, just as we identify our favorite as December-January.

“We must pledge to return the favor. It’s different, but we also know it’s still cricket season.

“When you look at it as a whole, it’s still a great summer of cricket.”

The change will create significant challenges for CA, given that there will be a desire for each court to host in the December-January period rather than March.

But Roach said each of the main venues will now host India Tests on future tours as one of the main benefits.

“It will also create opportunities for cricket to look at itself in a non-traditional way,” Roach said.

(Photo by Getty Images)

(Photo by Getty Images)

“It’s always cricket season, all cricket competitions across the country are always in March.

“It’s still our season and we will strive to make both of these tests great.”

Meanwhile, Australia has pledged to play more clean-ball series against Pakistan and Bangladesh, seeing the two as the next big growth economies in cricket.

Overall, there are fewer ODIs for men, with just 15 scheduled over the next four years in Australia compared to the 12 originally scheduled for this coming summer.

Also worth noting is the fact that there are exactly five home tests each summer, meaning Hobart and Canberra will have to wait a while for their next tests.

Virat Kohli

(Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

THE NEXT FOUR YEARS OF CRICKET IN AUSTRALIA

MEN:

2023: June/July: England v Australia (5 Tests)

September: South Africa v Australia (5 ODIs, 3 T20s)

September: India v Australia (3 ODIs)

2023-24: October: ICC World Cup (India)

Nov/Dec: India vs Australia (5 T20)

Dec/Jan: Australia v Pakistan (3 Tests)

January/February: Australia v West Indies (2 Tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

February/March: New Zealand v Australia (2 tests, 3 T20)

2024: June: ICC World T20 (Caribbean and USA)

August: Afghanistan vs Australia (3 T20)

August/September: Australia v Ireland (3 ODIs, 1 T20)

September: England v Australia (5 ODIs, 3T20)

2024-25: November: Australia v Pakistan (3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

Dec/Jan: Australia v India (5 Tests)

January/February: Sri Lanka v Australia (2 tests)

Feb/March: ICC ODI Champions Cup (Pakistan)

2025: June/July: West Indies against Australia (2 tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

August: Australia v South Africa (3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

2025-26: October: New Zealand vs Australia (3 T20)

Oct/Nov: Australia v India (3 ODIs, 5 T20s)

Dec/Jan: Australia v England (5 Tests)

February: Pakistan v Australia (3 T20)

Feb/March: ICC T20 World Cup (India and Sri Lanka)

March: Pakistan vs Australia (3 ODIs)

2026:

June: Bangladesh v Australia (3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

August: Australia v Afghanistan (1 test)

2026-27:

Sept/Oct: South Africa v Australia (3 Tests, 3 ODIs)

Nov/Dec: Australia v England (3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

Dec/Jan: Australia v New Zealand (3 tests)

January/February: India v Australia (5 tests)

March: Australia v Bangladesh (2 Tests)

WOMEN

2023:February: ICC T20 World Cup (South Africa)

June/July: England v Australia (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3T20)

July: Ireland v Australia (3 ODIs)

2023-24: Sept/Oct: Australia v West Indies (3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

Dec/Jan: India v Australia (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

Jan/Feb: Australia v South Africa (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

March: Bangladesh v Australia (3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

2024-25: Sept/Oct: ICC World T20 (Bangladesh)

Dec: Australia v India (3 ODIs)

December: New Zealand v Australia (3 ODIs)

Jan/Feb: Australia v England (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

March: New Zealand – Australia (3 T20)

2025-26: Sept/Oct: ICC ODI World Cup (India)

Jan/Feb: Australia v India (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s)

March: Commonwealth Games (Australia)

*Future Tours program for men runs until March 2027, FTP for women until March 2026.



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