Top notch quality cricket is expected when two heavyweights -- India and South Africa -- battle it out for two months in all formats of the game. The India-South Africa series will kick off with a three-match T20I series.

The first T20I is set to be played on Friday, 2 October at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. The second and third T20I matches will be played in Cuttack and Kolkata respectively on 5 and 8 October. Cricket fans are eagerly awaiting this T20 series, which can be understood with tickets getting sold like hot cakes.

With some high-profile batsmen in both the T20 teams, expect an entertaining start to the 72-day tour. AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy are the Proteas' big guns, while Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma is India's response to their trio.

The T20 format has mostly been about batsmen and these stroke-makers are surely going to have a major say in the series. There is not much to choose between the two teams, but, India, at home have always been a difficult side to beat.

However, a team, which possess a batsman like De Villiers can never be counted out, irrespective of the format, venue, conditions and opposition. The South African batsman is going to hold the key for the visitors as he can tear apart the Indian bowling attack and take the game away in the blink of an eye.

This is where skipper Dhoni, with his cool cricketing brain, comes to the fore. One has seen Dhoni deploying R Ashwin with the new ball and the same could be witnessed during the T20 series, in order to contain the run-machines from South Africa.

The Indian bowlers, even if they dismiss de Villiers cheaply, need to be on top of their game for the middle order comprises of Duminy, du Plessis and David Miller. The batsmen have special talent in the shortest format of the game, an ability to win matches from impossible situations.

Like South Africa, India also depend on their batsmen to help them cross the finishing line. With Kohli, Rohit, Suresh Raina and Dhoni, they have the ammunitions to pile up more than 200 runs and even chase down the same when required. South Africa are going to miss the services of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel as the bowling spearheads have not been picked for the T20 series.

T20 series Complete Schedule

 1st T20

Date - Friday, 2 October

Venue - Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala.

Time - 7 pm IST, (1.30 pm GMT, 9.30 am ET, 3.30 pm SAST)

2nd T20

Date – Monday, 5October

Venue - Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.

Time - 7 pm IST, (1.30 pm GMT, 9.30 am ET, 3.30 pm SAST)

3rd  T20

Date – Thursday, 8October

Venue - Eden Gardens in Kolkata

Time - 7 pm IST, (1.30 pm GMT, 9.30 am ET, 3.30 pm SAST)