Here is a look at the week ahead in international cricket featuring the Test matches that see India host Australia & England touring in New Zealand.
Here is a look at some of the games with odds from BetXchange.
Namibia VS Scotland (ODI) – Tribhuvan University ICG (Nepal)
When: Wednesday, February 15
This match is part of the 2023 Nepal Tri-Nation Series that is being held in Nepal, and it is the 19th round of the mammoth 2019-2023 ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 tournament. This is part of the pathway to the 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup, with Scotland already having qualified for the 2023 World Cup Qualifier and Namibia still in the running for one of the other spots.
Nambia came into this knowing that four wins from their final six matches would take them to second (behind Scotland) ahead of Oman, who have already finished their qualifying campaign. Three qualify out of the group, but both Nepal and UAE have multiple games in hand to theoretically run down the African side.
The Tri-Series started badly for Namibia, with Nepal winning their first up match on Tuesday by two wickets. They will need another strong innings from Michael van Lingen – he scored 133 from 137 balls – to beat the Scots. I don’t think they will do it, and like Scotland to win at 11/20.
New Zealand VS England (1st Test) – Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
When: Thursday, February 16 – Monday, February 20
England is in New Zealand to play a couple of Tests this month that are not part of the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship.
It is probably a good job for the hosts that this is the case, as their plans for this Test have been disrupted by Cyclone Gabrielle. Dubbed ‘The Storm of the Century by the local press, the hurricane has caused players issues with flights and travel to the point that on Monday, five of the squad of 14 had yet to make it to Mount Maunganui.
England got the better of Pakistan in a recent tour, while New Zealand was not nearly as successful on the subcontinent. Expect the Bazball style of England to show through again, with the tourists looking to attack every bad delivery to put up a big score. I expect England to come out on top in this one.
India VS Australia (2nd Test) – Arun Jaitley Stadium, Dehli
When: Friday, Feb 17 – Tuesday, Feb 21
This is the 2nd Test in a series that does count towards the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship, unlike the New Zealand tilts against England.
Australia needs to find some form after an embarrassing first Test where they were defeated by innings and 132 runs inside three days. They were bowled out for 177 in their first innings before India rolled to a score of 400 all out. This left Australia with work to do, but they collapsed to a total of just 91, with Steve Smith and his unbeaten 25 runs having to watch as the team fall apart around him.
Australia will be better in Dehli, but there is no reason to turn away from India after Rohit Sharma struck an imperious 120, and the combination of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took the Australian batsmen to school.