The T20 international series between South Africa and India got off to a disappointing start as the first match was washed out even before the toss at the Kingsmead Durban on Sunday.
Continuous drizzle made it impossible for the captains to come out for the toss and the umpires finally decided to call off the match at around 9.25 pm IST. The toss was supposed to take place at 7pm and the match was scheduled to begin at 7.30pm.
Limited Opportunities Ahead
Both teams will now head to Gqeberha for the second T20I of the series which will be played on December 12. The series finale will take place in Johannesburg on December 14.
Now, the 'Men in Blue' are left with just five T20Is two more against the Proteas and three games against Afghanistan at home in January ahead of next year's showpiece in the West Indies and the USA.
In that context, India would have liked to make a head start to their search for a perfect blend at Kingsmead but rain put paid to those hopes temporarily.
Confidence in International Matches
With the IPL 2024 preceding the T20 World Cup, the Indian think-tank will certainly bank on the league to identify the ideal 15 for the marquee event.
India stand-in captain Suryakumar suggested as much.
"I feel there are limited T20s going forward, before the T20 World Cup. But then we play 14 league games in the IPL as well," Suryakumar had mentioned during his pre-match press meet on Saturday.
Awaiting International Debut in South Africa
But then nothing really can supplant the confidence a player can accrue while performing well in international matches, and the weight of a good outing doubles if the touring destination is South Africa.
It also offers the management a more realistic yardstick about a player's ability.
The first-time visitors to the 'Rainbow Nation' such as Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Arshdeep Singh etc would have been eager to get that unique taste of cricket here and now they would have to wait till Tuesday for the second match at St George's Park at Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth.