- 21 September 2019 – 26 November 2019 – One-Day Domestic tournament
- 17 December 2019 – 8 February 2020 – Big Bash League T20
- 10 October 2019 – 31 March 2020 – Sheffield Shield (first class)
- 27 October 2019 – 1 November 2019 – 3 T20Is vs Sri Lanka
- 3 November 2019 – 8 November 2019 – 3 T20Is vs Pakistan
- 21 November 2019 – 3 December 2019 – 2 tests vs Pakistan
- 12 December 2020 – 7 January 2020 – 3 tests vs New Zealand
- 14 January 2020 – 19 January 2020 – 3 ODIs vs India
- 21 February 2020 – 26 February 2020 – 3 T20Is vs South Africa (away)
- 29 February 2020 – 7 March 2020 – 3 ODIs vs South Africa (away)
- 13 March 2020 – 20 March 2020 – 3 ODIs vs New Zealand
It’s a lot to get your head around and it might even be a bit hard to figure out what you should be following and what doesn’t really matter. Thankfully the international tournaments don’t overlap, waiting for one to finish before starting the next one, even when they are different formats, but the domestic tournaments sure overlap with the international ones, and with each other.
For the sake of argument, I am going to be focusing on tests, and there are two test series of note:
- 21 November – 3 December vs Pakistan (2 tests)
- 12 December – 7 January vs New Zealand (3 tests)
And here is the wonderful thing: we have four full rounds of Sheffield Shield before the first test!
They’ll all get a few rounds of one day domestic cricket too, in the “Marsh” ODI Cup (it’s also the “Marsh” Sheffield Shield too, incidentally), so, for all of those recovering from injury or a loss of form, they’ll have plenty of chances to shake off those cobwebs.
Hypothetically, who are the XI we are likely to play against Pakistan in the first-up easy test series starting on 21 November?
This is my team:
- Usman Khawaja
- Wil Pucovski
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Steve Smith
- Kurtis Patterson
- Travis Head
- Alex Carey (wk)
- Pat Cummins
- Mitchell Starc
- Nathan Lyon (c)
- Josh Hazlewood
I have a lot of nerves about most of those players, with only two of the batsmen (Labuschagne and Smith) and the four bowlers (Cummins, Starc, Lyon and Hazlewood) certainties. Carey should play too, assuming that Paine is missing out. Obviously, if Paine is playing, and assuming that the board still has faith in him as captain, which, after the Ashes DRS debacle, is far from guaranteed.
Four of the six batting positions are under serious risk. We don’t have any openers we can rely on, and I am considering using someone who has never played for his country before in Wil Pucovski go in with a batsman who usually bats at 3 in Khawaja, who was dumped after a bad first 4 tests. I’ve given Head his spot back ahead of Wade and I’m also giving Kurtis Patterson his spot back ahead of Mitchell Marsh. None of that is certain.
The good news is that we have those four Sheffield Shield matches to decide who to pick, and we might look at the matches in other formats too, both international and potentially domestic as well.
We are all prepared for a big summer, and one which Australia has every chance of doing very well in.