Virat Kohli's men will begin their 2018 cricket season with a 47-day tour to South Africa, starting December 30, 2017. The Indian men's cricket team will play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is, with the first Test beginning on January 5 in Cape Town.
Mithali Raj and Kohli's team in action simultaneously
Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced the schedule on Wednesday, September 27. It also revealed that the Indian women's cricket team, who finished as runners-up at ICC Women's World Cup 2017, will take on South Africa women in three ODIs and five T20Is. Notably, the first three T20Is of the men and women's teams will be played as double headers.
"Proteas will also be involved with double header T20 International matches between South Africa and India. Featuring both our men's and women's teams on the same day is going to be a very special occasion and most fitting for the women's game which is growing and attracting its own fans," CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat said.
Stern test for Kohli and Shastri
It will be the first real test for Kohli, who has led India to the number one spot in both ODIs and Tests after dominating teams at home. India defeated the likes of New Zealand, England and Australia in Tests in the 2016-17 season before decimating West Indies and Sri Lanka on away tours.
Team India's head coach Ravi Shastri though had said India, under Kohli, will start winning matches abroad. Notably, the top-ranked Test side will be touring England and Australia following the South Africa tour next year.
"When you say overseas tours like South Africa, England, etc. It is a lot of tough cricket coming up and I see it as an opportunity. I am very positive that this team can do things that probably no other Indian team has done," Shastri has said during India's successful tour to Sri Lanka earlier this year.
Full schedule of South Africa tour
|1st Test||January 5-9||Cape Town|
|2nd Test||January 13-17||Centurion|
|3rd Test||January 24-28||Johannesburg|
|1st ODI||February 1||Durban|
|2nd ODI||February 4||Centurion|
|3rd ODI||February 7||Cape Town|
|4th ODI||February 10||Johannesburg|
|5th ODI||February 13||Port Elizabeth|
|6th ODI||February 16||Centurion|
|1st T20I||February 18||Johannesburg|
|2nd T20I||February 21||Centurion|
|3rd T20I||February 24||Cape Town|
|1st ODI||February 5||Kimberly|
|2nd ODI||February 7||Kimberly|
|3rd ODI||February 10||Potchefstroom|
|1st T20I||February 13||Potchefstroom|
|2nd T20I||February 16||East London|
|3rd T20I||February 18||Johannesburg|
|4th T20I||February 21||Centurion|
|5th T20I||February 24||Cape Town|
Kohli's men have also taken an unassailable 3-0 lead against world champions Australia in the ongoing five-match ODI series. The Men in Blue have promised to be ruthless in the remainder of the ODI rubber, after which they will play three T20Is against Steve Smith's men.
In another long home season, India will also take on New Zealand in a limited-overs series in October-November, before taking on Sri Lanka -- five Tests, five ODIs and one-off T20I.