Virat Kohli-led team endured a catastrophic outing in New Zealand as they were whitewashed by the hosts in ODIs and Tests by 0-3 and 0-2 respectively. After their disastrous trip to New Zealand, the Men in Blue will mark its home return by hosting a three-match ODI series against a rejuvenated South African national cricket team.
South Africa can take pride in the fact that they have comprehensively beaten Australia at home as they inflicted a 3-0 ODI whitewash on the visitors following a 1-2 T20I series defeat. Proteas will be looking forward to displaying a similar bit of performance against India cricket team which are lacking confidence at the moment.
The first match is scheduled to be played at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala on March 12, Thursday. The second ODI will go all guns blazing at Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on March 15, Sunday. The third and final ODI will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on March 18, Wednesday.
Heavy rains likely to interrupt first ODI in Dharamshala
As per the meteorological department in Shimla, a district of Kangra where Dharamshala is situated is expected to go through showers and thunderstorms including lightning, hail storm as well as gusty winds blowing at the maximum speed of 30-40 kmph.
Owing to such intense weather conditions, Shimla has been placed under an orange alert, which urges the citizens to be prepared for the weather. In addition to that, the Weather Channel’s 5-day forecast shows a 100% chance of precipitation on Thursday, with rains likely on Wednesday and Friday too. Taking all these factors into account, the chances of first India vs South Africa ODI match getting abandoned due to torrential are extremely high.
Needless to say, an intense western disturbance might drive the rains away which could throw surprises for the spectators. In case if the rain occurring at irregular intervals and the ground infrastructure at HPCA Stadium is capable of draining water quickly, then a thrilling encounter between the two teams is on the cards, at least for a reduced quota of overs.
As per the Regional Meteorological Centre, the conditions across Dharamshala would remain cloudy on the match day, with temperatures ranging from 7°C to 11°C. As the showers are expected on the day, the humidity is also expected to be high at around 80%.
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