The scenic HPCA stadium in Dharamsala is the venue for the first T20I of the three-match series between India and South Africa, which marks the beginning of a home season for the Indian team and they will be looking forward to starting it on a good note. The last time South Africa played a T20I in Dharamsala was in 2015 and they had won the game despite a marvelous century by Rohit Sharma.
The Proteas had won the T20I series 2-0 on that tour, but this time, things are a lot different, as they are missing Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn in their lineup and the young Quinton de Kock will be captaining the side. However, the possibility of rains during the game is threatening to overshadow the excitement of seeing the Indian team play at home after a long time.
Thunderstorms and rain barrage Dharamsala on Sunday afternoon
The first T20I is slated to start at 7 PM IST, however, a sharp spell of thundershowers lashed Dharamsala on Sunday afternoon, just hours before the start of the match has put a dampener on things. The weather forecast is not great either as scattered thunderstorms are expected throughout the day. It had drizzled on Saturday afternoon, leaving the HPCA track under covers.
Both the teams were forced to practice indoors due to continuous rains, but the South Africans did enjoy a full session of practice before the afternoon drizzle on Saturday. The HPCA ground is fitted with the latest quality drainage facility which can help prepare the ground for a full 40-over game even if the rain stops by 5 PM IST. The minimum is a five-over-per-side contest.
Commentator Aakash Chopra shared an update of rains in the afternoon on his Twitter feed with a message saying, “Raining at the moment. But the forecast is to clear up. The ground has good drainage facilities. It’ll be tested tonight. Fingers/toes #IndvSA @StarSportsIndia”.
Raining at the moment. But forecast is to clear up. Ground has good drainage facilities. It’ll be tested tonight. Fingers/toes🤞 #IndvSA @StarSportsIndia pic.twitter.com/YOnU8iYaFC
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 15, 2019
The Indian team will be testing out almost the same side that whitewashed the West Indies team in the T20Is recently. This series is the beginning of Men in Blue’s roadmap for the ICC T20 World cup 2020 and sees players like Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini trying to impress the selectors and book a place for the mega event in Australia. It will also be a tough test for Shikhar Dhawan as the opener tries to bounce off a poor Windies tour.
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