Thursday’s first ODI between the Proteas and India at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharmasala was delayed due to wet conditions.
The toss was scheduled for 9:30am SA time, but was deferred. Umpires Joel Wilson and Virender Sharma were due to inspect conditions at 10am SA time, but that too was delayed amid light rain. At 12:20am SA time, the covers were still over the pitch.
‘This looks like a pitch India will be happy with. There will be a bit of grip for the wrist-spinners, although finger-spinners may not have it easy. The odd ball will stay low, too,’ said former India captain-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar.
South Africa are without fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who has been sidelined by a groin injury. Wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi is absent due to paternity leave. All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius was not selected for this tour. Former ODI captain Faf du Plessis, who was rested for the recent ODI series against Australia, has returned to the squad. Opening batsman Janneman Malan was a late addition.
The tourists have all-rounder Hardik Pandya, batsman Shikhar Dhawan and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar back. All three have recovered from injury. Opening batsman Rohit Sharma is still recovering from a calf injury and is not in the squad.
South Africa have lost eight of the last 10 ODIs against India. Their last bilateral ODI series in India five years ago, though, resulted in a 3-2 win.
This series is going ahead despite the threat posed by the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has caused 60-plus confirmed cases in India, but none in the ODI host cities.
Sunday’s second and Wednesday’s third ODI will be played at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow and at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, respectively.
India: To be confirmed.
South Africa: To be confirmed.