India’s Tour of South Africa had a damp start as the first T20I in Durban on Sunday was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain. The Indian cricket team will play only a handful of T20Is before the T20 Cricket World Cup 2024 and this series is part of India’s preparation. A match lost on that road to the T20 World Cup is a big loss for the Indian cricket team. There are several points which the Indian cricket team would like to get clarity on ahead of the T20 Cricket World Cup. Now, the Indian cricket team is 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.
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.
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.
Also, Suryakumar Yadav would have liked to make a winning start in Durban against the Proteas to underline his credentials to give the bigwigs another name potentially to consider for the captain’s role, if it ever comes to that.
However, with rain playing spoilsport there not much that the Indian cricket team think-thank could have done. Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar opined that Cricket South Africa could not have done much as rain affected the game. However, he had an important advice for international cricket boards.
“Once the schedule has been fixed there is nothing you can do. You can’t fight Mother Nature. There is nothing that Cricket South Africa could have done. But from what I saw, where there can be a lot done and not just in South Africa but in lot other countries is that, cover the grounds fully. All the broads have plenty of money, if they say they don’t…may be not as much as BCCI but still,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
What Gavsakar was referring to was that at Kingsmead, Duraban, the entire ground was not covered, though rain did not relent either.
“Many time what happens is that the rain stops and they take one hour to get the ground ready and the rain comes back. That is one point every board can look into. But Cricket South Africa can’t be blamed for choosing this venue.”
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