1st T20I (N), Dharamsala, September 15, 2019, South Africa tour of India

Match abandoned without a ball bowled

Match centre 
Scores: Chandan Duorah
Comms: @saurabh_42

7.56 pm: There was a flicker of hope just before play started when the rain seemed to be clearing, but for play to happen the weather needed to hold.That didn't happen, and the skies opened up once again. So no match, no toss even. The teams will now travel to Mohali for the second T20I, and we'll be right here, bringing you the live action from there. Better forecasts in Mohali so join us then. Till then, this is Saurabh Somani, signing off on behalf of Deiva Muthu too.

Satish: "@Raj Patel : If they are sure about the forecast for the rest of the night and keeping ground's drainage system in mind, atleast this saves a lot of time for a lot of people."

Raj Patel: "Match abandoned due to rain in just 50 minutes post the start time. That's the quickest I've seen or heard a match getting abandoned "

7.48 pm: Bad news, folks. The match has been abandoned. Monga, from the ground, says the big screen has flashed the fatal words. It was always going to be a losing battle against the rain.

7.35pm "There are only two shaded stands at the ground," says Monga. "People have expectedly left from other stands, and are walking back all the way to their parked vehicles. I don't envy them the at-least half-hour walk in the cold rain."

Nauman Sharjeel: "South Africa do not have a good record of winning rain affected matches. Let's see if they can win today if the weather clears. "

VAnand: "Can somebody tell what is the relationship between cricket and rain?!?! " --- Err, it's complicated

Siddhesh: "Monsoon normally hits Dharamsala between July - September. Why schedule a match during such a period? Can understand a freak rain during off season, but really feel whoever decides the schedules should be pulled up for such bad calls."

7.05pm "People who have no cover from the rain are walking out of the stadium," reports Sid Monga from Dharamsala

Tushar : "Is chris Gayle retired? " --- or maybe not...

Vijay Srinivas: "Hope that both Ravi Ashwin and Dinesh Karthik are not beyond horizon yet, and chances are there that they return. They both have good track records in T20 cricket."

Did you know that a chess player can burn up to 6,000 calories a day while playing in a tournament, three times what an average person consumes in a day? That's right, CHESS players. While it's still raining, here's a fascinating story on the mad world of chess and weight loss.

Mustafa Moudi: "The Last time Dhoni played a T20 match, Tahir, Duminy, Amla, Mallik, Yuvraj, Rayudu and Gayle didnt yet retired. Now all of them have retired and 2 of them have even taken a U-turn but Dhoni has not played a single T20 in all this time !!" --- And Ambati Afridi Rayudu has been appointed Hyderabad captain after his retirement u-turn

7.00 pm: Essential rain-time reading. A corker of a piece by Monga on MS Dhoni - he's not in Dharamsala with the Indian team, and yet his presence looms. "He is not retired. Or injured. He is not rested; that happened during the West Indies tour. Nobody dares utter the word "dropped". All we know is, he is not here, and yet he is."

Kaushal: "@Ganesh, that's exactly what I was about to say. Here's a guy who was the Man of the Tournament in the Nidahas Trophy, has had tremendous success in the TNPL both as a powerplay bowler and opening batsman and has an ER of 6 in T20Is so far. And he is just 19 years old. India should look to give Washington Sundar a consistent run"

Abhay: "On Dhoni you wrote "All we know is, he is not here, and yet he is." This reminds of Silsila Song - मगर ये दिल है कि कह रहा है तुम यहीं हो, यहीं कहीं हो"

ibad: "Why any of the two spinners (chahal and kuldeep) haven't been included in the T20 squad ??seeing how they both performed in last series here" --- Allow Kohli to provide the answer

AlokGrg_USA: "Wow, it's swimming pool in Dharamsala. Looks like it might be a complete wash out! Keeping fingers crossed for the match!!"

6.54 pm: Sid Monga says from the ground that the rain is heavy once again after having reduced to a drizzle earlier. There's also a lot of water on the covers, and the groundstaff will have a bit of heavy work ahead of them to get everything ship-shape for the match - when the rain eventually stops. If it stops. Looking pretty grim with spectators huddled under umbrellas, and the rain lashing the outfield and the covers.

Meanwhile, Saturday produced the most shocking result of the new Premier League season, with Norwich stunning Pep Guardiola's Man City 3-2 at Carrow Road. If you're also a football fan, here's Ian Darke on how the Canaries upset the champs.

The rain in Dharamsala is heavier now, unfortunately.

6.42 pm: While waiting for the rain to stop, have a read of our interview with Sanjay Bangar, the outgoing Indian assistant coach. He reckons India could have potentially won a few more fourth-innings chases if Rohit Sharma had been a Test opener.

6.36 pm: Hold your horses. Steven Smith is out for a score less than a zillion. Just 23 in fact. Collect your gasps and hop on over to our Ashes page to read all about it. (And then come back here)

Sej: "One thing that baffles me is why isn't Shreyas Gopal more involved in the fray of things? He's had a great IPL and shows good batting capability too? Why isn't he on the radar especially when KulCha combo is sidelined? " - good shout. Shreyas has done enough to merit regular chances with India A to start with at least.

6.30 pm:The toss is delayed. Lots of water on the covers, and there's some rain about again.

Sooryanarayanan: "Surely this is the first India-SA T20 featuring neither AB de Villiers nor MS Dhoni right?" - Good spot, and our resident stats genius Gaurav Sundararaman tells me, you're absolutely spot on. Here's the proof.

Ganesh: "I just like how little attention Sundar gets despite performing superbly every time which means no pressure on him. Just hope India starts using his batting prowess in a better way the guy is way to good with the bat to come in at No.8"

6.21pm: Our followers in the US can watch India v South Africa LIVE on ESPN+. Sign-up for ESPN+ here

Siddhesh: "The Dhoni question continues to cast a shadow doesn't it? I believe its largely down to how Pant has not yet cemented his spot and hasn't yet shown a level of consistency that you expect to be a regular at this level. Thing is, if Dhoni is unsure, and Pant isn't a certainty then who else is waiting in the wings?" - There's Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson, but I think Pant is a certainty for now.

Sumit: "Can anyone tell us about current weather. Heard that there is slight possibility of rain" - well the latest we have from the ground is that it's not raining at the moment. But it has rained heavily, so there's work to be done on the outfield.

Vishwajit: "I would say Hardik, wicketkeeper (pick your favourite) and Bumrah will have a major say in the T20 world cup :D"

Sarthak S Salun: "Rabada must be fuming inside with the limelight Bumrah and Archer is getting. His statements in media were on the same line. Waiting to see Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli shattering his pride into pieces. " - Nah, he's a cool customer, is Rabada. He's not fuming. But he did have something to say.

6.16 pm: While we're waiting for the toss, have a dekko at Deiva's preview for this game. South Africa's Vision 2019, their grand plan for 50-over World Cup success, went completely awry. Will they manage to rebuild from this tour onwards?

Vishwajit: "Very excited to see how Rishabh is going to fare in upcoming T20 matches as it's a direct tussle between him settling in and the standby ice cool MSD!"

Arunish Chadha: "Last time, India played Australia in Dharamshala, I was there with my friends. Had a great time. Today same group of friends are with me on Whatsapp discussing & reminiscing. Hoping for a great time today as well....GO AWAY RAIN!!!"

Abhijato: "Krunal, Deepak, Rahul (the sibling) and Saini are the Newfound Quadruple who will be the X-factors if India are to challenge for the WT20 title ... Looking forward to seeing all of them in action tonight! :)"

6.12 pm: Meanwhile in the South African camp, Temba Bavuma is "feeling 21 again". Here's why.

Sooryanarayanan: "Can we please divert the rains to London? I want to see a full match and we can help the Aussies as well." - But why would you want it to rain when Steve Smith is batting? Allow him to score his millionth run this series at least. (And click here to follow that game).

We're still almost an hour away from the scheduled start of action. In the meantime, if you're a kabaddi fan (and even if you aren't), be sure to read the story of Naveen Kumar, the highest scorer in the PKL this season.

Sumit Kaushal: "Last 5 T20's results IND Vs SA is 2-2 with one match with no-result. Waiting for great match to start, follower from Perth (AUS)"

6.05 pm: How have India done in T20Is? Not as well as they have in Tests and ODIs, but they're on a course correction before the T20 World Cup(s). Sid Monga writes that "they are aware what they have been doing is not the best, they are willing to change it, and they have the means and the time to do so."

6.00 pm: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the match that will kick off South Africa's tour of India. I am Saurabh Somani and will be joined by Deiva Muthu during the match. No better venue than Dharamsala in terms of viewing pleasure, but the bad news is that there's been considerable rain about. Sidharth Monga, who's camped at the venue, had this update for us: "There have been two thunderstorms in Dharamsala, which have unloaded a pretty decent amount. It's clear now. Still a fine drizzle on but the hills are visible now."

Will we have an on-time start? We'll know soon.

Shikhar Dhawan Opening Batter
Rohit Sharma Top order Batter
Ravindra Jadeja Allrounder
Virat Kohli (c)Top order Batter
Manish Pandey Top order Batter
KL Rahul Opening Batter
Deepak Chahar Bowler
Krunal Pandya Allrounder
Hardik Pandya Allrounder
Shreyas Iyer Top order Batter
Navdeep Saini Bowler
Washington Sundar Bowling Allrounder
Rishabh Pant Wicketkeeper Batter
Khaleel Ahmed Bowler
Rahul Chahar Bowler
Match details
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
Tossno toss
Series result3-match series level 0-0
Match numberT20I no. 000883b
Match days15 September 2019 - night (20-over match)
Nitin Menon
TV Umpire
Chettithody Shamshuddin
Reserve Umpire
Anil Chaudhary
Match Referee
West Indies
Richie Richardson