With the agony of their semi-final exit in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 behind them, India's focus will be on the two major ICC events in 2020 and 2021, both of which will be in the Twenty20 format. Every T20I game that will be played in the upcoming series will be closely monitored as to how Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri build the team dynamic. In the previous Twenty20 series against the West Indies, Navdeep Saini and Khaleel Ahmed had impressed with their pace and attacking bowling. Saini, in particular, was highly impressive and he will be expected to continue the good work in the opening game in Dharamsala.
19:53 hrs IST: The match has been abandoned in Dharamshala due to rain. What a dampener.
19:32 hrs IST: Nothing different as the rain is steady now. One feels that for the ground to be ready by 21:46 hrs IST, the rain must stop by 20:45 hrs IST so that the groundstaff get some time.
19:09 hrs IST: The intensity of the rain had reduced but now, it is pouring in Dharamshala. There are massive puddles on the outfield and the groundstaff have a massive task on their hands once the rain stops. However, it does not look like the rain is stopping any time soon.
18:51 hrs IST: It is absolutely lashing down in Dharamshala. The rain is steady and heavy and there are ouddles formed on the outfield. Unfortunately, the entire ground is not covered and there are puddles on the outfield. Not a good sign!
18:32 hrs IST: The toss has been delayed in Dharamshala. There is a drizzle enveloping the ground as the umpires make their way round the ground for an inspection. The groundstaff are working hard to remove the excess water from the covers and the ground.
18:27 hrs IST: South Africa also have a new leader in Quinton de Kock, with Faf du Plessis rested. This is a chance for the Proteas to chart a new course as they build-up for the ICC World T20.
18:18 hrs IST: The ground staff have plenty of work if they have to get the game ready. However, the current situation is that the toss will definitely be delayed.
18:09 hrs IST: The intensity of the rain was heavy at 15:00 hrs IST and at 17:30 hrs IST. The drizzle has all but stopped but the cleaning up operations could take time.
18:06 hrs IST: There is plenty of water on the covers and there is a slight drizzle at the venue. The cut-off time for a five-over game is 21:46 hrs IST. However, looking at the situation now, we might have a delayed toss.
17:58 hrs IST: Live visuals from the ground are coming in and most of the outfield is covered. The Dhauladhar mountains are hazy and that generally means that the rain is falling steadily.
17:52 hrs IST: The practice sessions were also conducted indoors due to the persistent rain. The chances of rain are 60 percent today and this will be the first time that the Indian cricket team will have a new batting coach in Vikram Rathour.
17:40 hrs IST: In the previous encounter between the two sides in Dharamshala in 2015, Rohit Sharma hit his first T20I century but India lost the high-scoring match. South Africa have won both their games in India and Virat Kohli's team will be determined to break this jinx today.
17:37 hrs IST: Just before the match, there was a short, sharp spell of rain at Dharamshala. The forecast is for scattered thunderstorms throughout the day. The fans would be hoping that they can get some action. The drainage facility at the HPCA stadium is pretty good.
17:31 hrs IST: A warm welcome to the first match between India and South Africa from Dharamshala. It is a new season in Indian cricket and following the end of the World Cup, it is now time to start afresh and build for the next major ICC event which is the World T20 in 2020. The preparation for that tournament begins now.