India and South Africa head to Mohali for the second of three Twenty20 Internationals after rain played spoilsport in the first game on Sunday.
While the relentless rain in Dharamsala was a dampener for all concerned, both teams would be disappointed by the fact that they were robbed off one match in their preparations for the T20 World Cup next year. Both India and South Africa have publicly spoken about trying different combinations in the build up to the mega event, and they'd want as many games as possible in that pursuit.
Fortunately for them, there's no such rain threat in Mohali, and the series will finally get started.
India, naturally, are the stronger side. They're coming off a 3-0 whitewash of West Indies in the Caribbean and would like to carry the momentum while trying out a few things. Their batting order is largely predictable and settled, but there are one or two crucial things to look out for; how well Manish Pandey or Shreyas Iyer go, and how consistent can Rishabh Pant be being a couple of areas for India to work on.
India will be bolstered by the return of Hardik Pandya, who was rested from the tour of West Indies. The all-rounder is not a part of the Test squad, and will want to give it his all in the limited-overs formats. He provides balance, firepower and depth to the Indian batting.
India see depth as a crucial factor in limited-overs cricket, perhaps after the World Cup experience. That's the reason why they've made crucial changes to their bowling unit, dropping Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The likes of Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar give depth to the batting, which will make the top order play with more freedom.
On the other hand, South Africa have a young and inexperienced side led by Quinton de Kock. There are concerns over the future of cricket in the country and they'd want to show all is not lost. They will look to leave behind their dismal performance in England in the World Cup and prepare for the future in the absence of stalwarts like Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla.
South Africa have three new faces in the form of Temba Bavuma, Bjorn Fortuin and Anrich Nortje. They'd all be looking towards de Kock, David Miller and Kagiso Rabada to get as much as they can during the tour.
South Africa definitely face an uphill task but they'd be looking to target India's inexperience in bowling. Navdeep Saini and Deepak Chahar had good tours of West Indies, but they're still inexperienced in international cricket. Add a couple more inexperienced players in Rahul Chahar and Washington, and South Africa would potentially look at this as an area of weakness.
If they can do that, there's no reason why they can't do a repeat of 2015 when they defeated India in both the limited-overs formats of the tour.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (C), Rassie van der Dussen (vc), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde.