SYDNEY     -    Australia will play back-to-back pink-ball Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand in a marathon international cricket season spanning almost five months and wrapping up next March, the latest finish since the 1970s.

Brisbane’s Gabba hosts the first of two Tests against Pakistan from November 21, followed by a day-nighter at Adelaide Oval, the schedule released Tuesday showed.

Australia then face New Zealand at Perth Stadium for the second day-night match before the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne and finally Sydney. With only five Tests, Canberra and Hobart miss out. The games will be the first on Australian soil that count towards the inaugural ICC Test Championship, where points are awarded to the nine countries taking part.