The first T20 international of the most awaited India-South Africa series, scheduled for September 15, may get affected by rain.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the scheduled fixture for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamsala can face the wrath of the rains as the weather forecast predicted continuous rains from Wednesday till the date of the match.
The forecasts indicate the presence of clouds on Sunday. If the rains continue till September 15, the ground staff will have their task cut-out.
According to IANS, sources privy to the development stated that the ground staff will have a tough time as the rains are expected to go on for a couple of days.
The sources added that though the team is doing a good job, the preparation of a good pitch requires at least six to seven days of perfect weather. The Dharamsala ground is known for favouring fast bowlers. The match can be dominated by bowlers if the wicket does not get enough sunlight.
"The thing with the place is that once it starts raining, it goes on for a couple of days. The team is doing its job, but the problem is that you need at least around six or seven days leading into the game where the weather is perfect to prepare the wicket and with forecast for rain leading into the game on Sunday, sleepless nights are on the cards," a source told IANS.
"See, the conditions here anyway hand the faster bowlers a slight edge. But yes, if covers are on for long periods of time and the wicket doesn't get enough sunlight, it will definitely slant more towards the faster bowlers. That could then lead to a situation where the ball dominates the bat," he added.
This may be a cause of concern for the Men in Blue as they chose to rest their senior pace bowling trio - Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Meanwhile, South Africa will enjoy the services of Kagiso Rabada along with Junior Dala.
The Indian batsmen can have a tough time out there as the conditions will be somewhat favourable for the South African pace bowlers.
However, the Indian squad also has in its ranks players like Navdeep Saini, who recently had a good T20 series in the Caribbean tour along with Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar.
It will be interesting to see whether the first T20 fixture of the three-match series will be played or not and how the Indian batsmen fair against the South African bowlers.
The Men in Blue recently completed their conquest of the West Indies team in the Caribbean tour as they did not lose any match in all the three formats of the game. Team India is brimming with confidence and looking forward to continuing with the form they are currently enjoying.