The Indian home season resumes after a month-long break as the Men in Blue take on South Africa in the first of the three scheduled one-day internationals at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Thursday.
India returned home after the tour of New Zealand, which began on a dominant note with a 5-0 sweep of the T20I series, only for the Black Caps to turn the tables by sweeping both the ODIs (3-0) and the Tests (2-0). The Kiwis were especially dominant in the Test series, with both games finishing within three days as the Indian batsman struggled against the moving ball.
South Africa too had a poor run on home soil, losing both the Test (1-3) and the T20I (1-2) series against England, with the one-day series finishing level at 1-1. The losing run continued with a series defeat against Australia in the T20Is (1-2), before the Proteas bounced back in the one-day series against Aaron Finch and Co by completing a 3-0 hammering.
The upcoming series is expected to be a lot more closely fought than what was the case six months ago. However, the possibility of rain in the first one-dayer at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala could be a dampener not only for those directly involved in the game, but also for the fans.
The venue saw a fair amount of rain on the eve of the first one-dayer, with the pitch and the outfield remaining under cover as the two sides trained at the nets just outside the main stadium. Dharamsala has been battered with rain since Tuesday evening, and similar weather conditions are predicted for the match-day as well as on the following day.
According to the forecast on Accuweather, the hill station is expected to remain overcast with 'little rain' during the day, followed by thunderstorms later in the evening. Fans, however, will hope to see some exciting cricketing action on Thursday, even if the match is reduced to 20 overs per side.
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