Weather a huge concern as India takes on in-form South Africa in 1st ODI
Even if the match starts as scheduled at 1:30 PM IST, the rains could play spoilsport in the second innings.
Updated - Mar 12, 2020 12:54 pm
2020 had started for India on a bright note but since the middle of the New Zealand series, things have got really bad for them. After whitewashing the Kiwis 5-0 in the T20I series, India were in control what was supposed to be their toughest challenge. But, injuries to key players and out of form experienced players affected India’s chances.
Virat Kohli and co. ended up getting beaten 0-3 in the ODI series and 0-2 in the Test series. For Kohli, who takes Test match cricket very seriously, it would be a huge mental setback for his World no.1 ranked Test side. It is relative that India’s leading batsman didn’t really fire on the tour. The 31-year-old skipper scored just one half-century and had a disastrous tour with the bat.
South Africa, on the other hand, is coming into this series after whitewashing a strong Australia side in a home series. Captain Quinton de Kock led his side to a 3-0 comprehensive win.
Rain likely to spoil comebacks of Pandya, Dhawan and Bhuvi
That being said, Kohli must be happy to be back at home playing the format in which he is probably the best. India’s recent middle-order stars KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer will have the support of Shikhar Dhawan at the top. The opener is returning after an injury layoff.
Hardik Pandya will also be back in action. Jasprit Bumrah would be rejuvenated to have his long-time white-ball bowling partner, Bhuvneswar Kumar back in the side. Bumrah’s four-match wicketless streak is something that has to be highlighted to answer why India lost 0-3 in New Zealand.
But all of this talk about the team’s search for a comeback might have to wait as the weather report in Dharamsala isn’t bright. The weather was clear and all sunny until Wednesday afternoon. But since then, the rain gods have opened up. According to the AccuWeather report, the chances of rain are pretty high at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium. Even if the match starts as scheduled at 1:30 PM IST, the rains could play spoilsport in the second innings.
One thing is sure though, the drainage system at the HPCA Stadium is world-class. If the rains hold up at some point in time, there are chances we could get a shortened game. Interestingly, last year when the Proteas toured India, the T20I in Dharamshala was called off due to rain.