There’s a real A-Z of cricket action happening this week, quite literally with Afghanistan currently playing a Test versus Zimbabwe, although for South African fans you’ll still have to wait another couple of days.
Afghanistan are real minnows on the scene and even though Zimbabwe are no world beaters themselves, such is the gap between those who have been playing Tests for a while and those who are new to the format is a big one.
Zimbabwe will fancy their chances of winning it well within the scheduled five days is up.
But that serves as a sideshow to the fourth Test looming between India and England, starting on Thursday in Ahmedabad. The hosts will be strong favourites to continue piling on the misery for the tourists, who were bowled out for 112 and 81 in their two innings, also in Ahmedabad, only last week.
Surely the pitch won’t be such a lottery this time around? However, the mental damage that India will have inflicted on their opponents in winning the last two Tests by 317 runs and 10 wickets, respectively, will be huge. The mere sign of their spinners warming up, led by Ravi Ashwin (pictured), is likely to have the England batsmen break into a cold sweat.
Before that Test starts on Thursday there are two T20 Internationals being played. New Zealand and Australia square off in a tantalising match at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington tomorrow (start 8am SA time).
The hosts have won the first two T20Is, buy 53 runs and 4 runs, respectively. This format of the game is a bit of a lottery and the GGG odds reflect that, with the hosts being 8,2-10 favourites and Australia at 9.6-10.
On Thursday, actually midnight on Wednesday, it’s also a T20I match between West Indies and Sri Lanka. Here the Windies are 4.3-10 favourites and it’s easy to agree with the people at GG Gaming who have put up these odds. They look to have too much firepower for their opponents.
Later in the week, starting 5.30am SA time on Sunday, is the first women’s ODI between India and South Africa. The Proteas have arrived in India but are going to be up against it, although this series could be closer than at first glance, given it features the world No3 and No4 teams up against one another.
This week’s cricket fixtures are:
Currently: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe (Test)
3 March: NZ vs Australia (3rd T20I)
West Indies vs Sri Lanka (1st T20I)
4-8 March: India vs England (Test)
5 March: NZ vs Australia (4th T20I)
West Indies vs Sri Lanka (2nd T20I)
7 March: NZ vs Australia (5th T20I)
West Indies vs Sri Lanka (3rd T20I)
India Women vs South Africa Women (1st ODI)