India, boosted by the returns of Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, will be looking to put the nightmares of the New Zealand tour behind them as they gear up to face South Africa in the first One-day International (ODI) of the three-match series at Dharamsala on Thursday. However, the trio might have to wait for their international return as weather is expected to play spoilsport. According to weather reports, heavy rain is predicted for the match day.
India captain Virat Kohli had a torrid time with the bat in New Zealand, scoring just 75 runs in the three ODIs as India suffered a 0-3 whitewash in the 50-over format.
In that series, India missed experience in their batting line-up as the New Zealand seamers caused problems for the visitors.
The return of Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya make India favourites going into the series but the hosts cannot afford to take South Africa lightly.
Captained by Quinton de Kock, South Africa recently completed a series sweep over Australia at home and they will be coming into the tour brimming with confidence.
Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen, who were rested for the ODIs against Australia, are part of South Africa’s touring party.
Janneman Malan earned his maiden India tour call as the 16th member of the squad after his match-winning ton in the second ODI against Australia.
The second and third ODIs will be held at Lucknow (March 15) and Kolkata (March 18).
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (capt/wk), Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan David Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj.
Match starts at 1:30 PM.
(With PTI inputs)