India's home season got off to a damp start with the first T20I against South Africa in Dharamsala being washed out due to rain. While we are yet to see both teams get on the field, there's been ample side talk about the strategies they would be looking to employ.
Indian captain Virat Kohli has hinted that his team's top-order batsmen will be looking to take more risks and amp up the scoring as the team makes changes to accommodate bowling all-rounders down the order.
The reason for this change seems to be an inkling to bat deep and push the scores past 200 consistently, while also blooding all-rounders such as Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya into the limited-overs format.
The changed approach has meant the ouster of spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal from the T20Is as India look to rely more on players who can supplement their bowling effort with some big hitting in the death overs.
Another object of speculation is the one spot for the opener, being vied for by both KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. While Rahul had a forgettable outing in the Test series against the West Indies, his T20I scores have been impressive throughout his short career, coming at an average of over 42. Dhawan struggled in the T20I series against West Indies and would be looking to make the most of the chances presented to him.
Although, it does seem like Virat Kohli will opt for the more seasoned opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan going into the series.
South Africa, on the other hand, will be looking for a fresh start post the World Cup debacle and looking usher in the new era with Quinton de Kock leading the side in T20Is.
It's a new look Proteas side with Kagiso Rabada shepherding the pace attack. A lot will be expected of David Miller in the middle order who's also familiar with the pitch and the conditions at Mohali, having played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.
A lot of the changes made by South Africa seem surprising, one being the inclusion of specialist-Test batsman Temba Bavuma who's yet to make his T20I debut. South Africa assistant batting coach Lance Klusener has backed Bavuma saying that he could anchor the middle-order batting effort by rotating the strike at will.
While there isn't any clarity over the composition of the playing 11, Klusener's statements suggest that Bavuma could receive his first T20I cap.
As for the weather, the conditions seem promising at Mohali. While a thunderstorm will be brewing in the afternoon, according to Accuweather, the skies are likely to clear for an on-time evening start.
Thereon, the conditions will be warm and humid. The dew factor will come into play and the toss will be a crucial one as the side batting first could be the beneficiaries and looking to post an imposing total.
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