Official news: The T20I is abandoned. Disappointing for the packed crowd that came today. The rain came moments after the toss, and that's about all the action we saw tonight. The teams move to Indore tomorrow for the 2nd T20I on January 7. We'll see you then too. A bummer that the first T20I of 2020 gets called off without a ball bowled. That's all from us at ESPNcricinfo too. Thanks for your company all evening. See you!
9.51pm Suresh Panchaks: "It's ben six minutes since you said 2 min to cut off, whats happening?" -- Absolutely nothing for now. We await more information
Sumeet Bhatia: "Seems the game is done, but for the crowd maybe a six hitting competition or bowlout should be done. We have the best yocker bowlers in the world in the sides. Assam does not get to see MI games too "
9.44pm Two minutes to go for the 9.46 cut-off of a five-over-a-side contest. We wait for news. Meanwhile, the groundstaff have stopped tending to the pitch. On TV, VVS Laxman says, "the Guwahati crowd will be disappointed and hurt if the game is called off. They've been very patient."
Premkumar: "One suggestion to ICC. Please keep some reseve days at the end of the series. Atleast for the series which are predicted for bad weather condition. And, the teams can play the abandoned match on reserve days at the final match venue."
9.35pm My colleague Deiva Muthu, who is at the ground, tells me that it doesn't look good, folks. But we'll wait for official news
Sushant Bodke: "Is there any other sport in the world which gets affected by weather as much as Cricket? " -- I can only think of golf, and to an extent, baseball
Ankur: "An important question about the statistics- does this count as a match/innings for the players? Asking because toss has happened.." -- Yes, it does for matches since the Toss has already happened. Not for innings
9.31pm The inspection is over and the umpires have left the ground. We await news. Hopefully it's good. But it's unlikely we'll have another inspection since the game must start in 15 minutes. The only positive sign is that the groundstaff are still rolling the pitch
9.28pm The umpires are walking out again for an inspection. They redo their drill of pressing into the pitch. Umpire Menon is using a tissue paper to check how wet the surface is. Umpire Chaudhary focuses on the cracks and divets on the surface. They have seen what they had to. The umpires are now walking back in with Menon checking his wristwatch.
9.25pm Five minutes to the 9.30 inspection. The one good news is that all the covers are off. Aakash Chopra on TV says that "the patches are still there. There are still some soft spots near the bowlers' run ups."
9.11pm The umpires are now chatting with Ravi Shastri, the India coach. Confirmed: next inspection at 9.30pm
9.06pm The umpires have completed their inspection. They are now chatting with David Boon, match referee, in his cabin. We wait for some news...
Prasu: "I once have seen Helicopter being used to dry the pitch "
SachinVehale: "Why a Sunday match needs to risk 7pm start ? Organizers should seriously think about 4pm start on at least weekend matches.." -- Well, it was raining in the afternoon at Guwahati too
9pm Massive roar from the crowd as umpires Anil Chaudhari and Nitin Menon make their way out to inspect. Umpire Chaudhary looks at his feet while making the walk, probably to see for puddles. They are now observing the pitch. Umpire Menon rubs his palm across the surface. They are now in deep discussion with Virendra Sharma, the reserve umpire. Looks like they're talking to the head of the groundstaff. Umpire Menon is looking at his watch. There's definitely some concerns over the wet spots on the pitch. We have just learnt that 9.46pm is the cut off for a five-over shootout, but will that even happen? We wait...
Menash: "There is even an iron on the pitch at the moment"
Arpit kumar: "Fascinating to see the hair dryer & steam iron rolling over for a cricket match contest. Am I dreaming ? "
8.55pm "The main cover has been peeled off as the inspection nears. The vaccum drier is working overtime near the middle of the pitch," according to Deiva Muthu
8.45pm Fifteen minutes away from the "scheduled inspection"
Kumar: "I am amused by all considering Samson has back up keeper considering he has stopped keeping duties for Kerala and also for RR."
The 2010s were a pretty crazy time for Indian sport, and so ESPN attempted to sum it up in the most logical way possible: memes. Here's Leonardo di Caprio, Keanu Reeves and Thanos (among others) taking you through the last 10 years
8.40pm Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant walk out for some drills. The crowd roars! The keeper and captain are observing the pitch, pointing towards some patches on the pitch. Kohli goes on all fours and presses into the pitch to see how damp it is. Meanwhile, the fireworks go off and that startles Pant. Cute scenes all around with the crowd dancing and the music blazing
8.35pm The Guwahati crowd is singing Ma tujhe salam while they wait for official news. The flash from their phones are on. Quite a marvellous sight, if I say so myself
8.25pm Due to a wet outfield, inspection is scheduled for 9pm (as of now). It has stopped raining for now, according to our reporter Deiva Muthu.
Ezio: "Why doesn't KL Rahul keep wickets for India in T20?" -- If push comes to shove, KL Rahul can keep wicket. But I have a feeling India don't want their opener to keep. Plus that means Rahul's a definite starter in the XI. Shikhar Dhawan may have some other ideas though
Anupam Raj: "Issue with having both Pant and Dhoni in the team is that you will have to depend on Hardik to bowl 4 overs each game. Not saying is a bad bowler but we will need a 6th bowling option as well in case someone has a off day. Dube can be that guy if he can improve his bowling a bit"
Nandakishore: "@Sreshth.. Including MSD in playing XI will solve wkt keeping woes just temporarily.. India has been over dependent on MSD in the past decade... Moving forward, if we have to win big tournaments, should take risk with younger players for a long term solution..."
Mujtaba: "If you plan to walk in MSD without giving chance to Sanju Samson, it will be grave injustice. We need to pick players for future, MSD is done."
Ragha: "A hypothetical question, assuming MSD is available for selection, would he walk into this XI or should he have to wait for his turn?" -- I don't mind him walking in, because of his better keeping abilities over Pant. But I wouldn't like to see Pant getting dropped. If Pant can be slotted in as a pure batsman, they can bring MSD back, I say! What do you guys think?
Anubhav Sapra: "I believe it would be disrespectful to the other players to let MS just walk back in, should he make himself available. It sends all sorts of wrong messages to everyone. He's not bigger than the game. He can't choose when to play and when not to."
Vikash: "I would rather like to have Sanju Samson for a few matches to let him at least show his caliber. "
Did you know? Earlier today, Leo Carter became the fourth man to hit six sixes in a T20 over. Do you remember who the other three people were? Click the link to learn more.
SudarshanaSL: "All the focus, how weak SL bowling is. But SL has better bowling unit than India.(With all due respect to Mr Bumrah) If Malinga can regain his lost mojo, India will have tougher bowling attack than WI + Rohitless batting line up. Game on..."
8.12pm Mixed signals from the groundstaff as the covers are slowly brought back on. Wonder if they fear more rain in the distance. And confirmed: it's drizzling again. But for now, inspection remains scheduled for 9pm.
Mike Silva: "I've said it once and I'll say it again: every single cricketing country in the world needs to follow the example set by Sri Lankan groundstaff. The second rain appears, the entire pitch and ground are covered immediately. This thus reduces the time taken to prepare the ground for a restart. Please sort this out ICC and make it mandatory worldwide. Signed - A Lover of Cricket Continually Bored Of Solvable Delays "
8.05pm The inspection has been pushed back to 9pm, as per our correspondent Deiva Muthu at the ground. That means we are most definitely losing overs. A vacuum drier is now being brought in to tend to the wet patches near the middle of the pitch
8pm The emcee at the stadium says, "let's cheer our boys" and the crowd gives out a massive roar. Virat Kohli is hovering near the pitch, rubbing his palm across the ground at the moment.
LM: "India was anyways favourates for today's game. In the case of shorter/reduced game; SL chances are further reduced. " -- I don't think I agree with you there. The shorter the game, the more the chances for an upset
7.50pm Update: The umpires have walked onto the field as the rain comes to a halt. An area of concern is some leakage of water from the covers onto the outfield, but the super soppers should be able to take care of it. The covers protecting the run-ups are coming off now.
Umpires Nitin Menon and Anil Chaudhary are briefing the teams on the playing conditions. Nitin Menon was talking to R Sridhar, India's fielding coach. The main cover is also coming off now. There will be an inspection at 8.15pm.
7.35pm OK folks, a bit of an update: the fans who braved their way to their seats have scampered back to places where they can stay dry. The rain continues to pour in a steady manner.
Raj : "Enough of pant experiment!! Bring on MSD now . Without him don't expect team India reach semis in T20 World Cup " -- Good idea, except for one thing: MSK Prasad said that they have started to 'look beyond Dhoni' now for T20Is. But as per Ravi Shastri, Dhoni can return to the India side if he has a great IPL. Make what you will of both those statements...
7.28pm Vivek Shyamala: "Any latest update from the ground??" -- Well, the drizzle is a bare minimum. If you were playing gully cricket, you wouldn't have stopped playing. This, however, is international cricket, and we won't see a ball delivered till the rain has completely stopped
Viswa: "Ganguly already mentioned that BCCI has communicated with Dhoni already and there are things cannot be communicated outside four walls. No need to discuss about Dhoni when there is undisclosed communication happening between him and BCCI. Moreover, it unnecessarily put more pressure on Pant."
7.15pm Looks like the rain has reduced, because the DJ has started to play some music again and the groundstaff are working. Mind you, the rain hasn't come to a total standstill though. Slowly but surely, the crowd is now moving back to their seats
Mustafa Moudi: "Its unfair to Choose the Series you want to play or miss. Dhoni is definitely a legend but he is still not bigger than the game and he should show some respect to the game. He should either be Available for All Matches or he must Retire. He should not misuse the reputation he has build over the years to extend his career even without playing. Dont know why the BCCI encourages such tactics !!"
Prashantha: "I think this is close to the perfect combination for Sri Lanka. Mendis has been getting out for 0 most of the time, and on other occasions has been hogging way too many deliveries. Bhanuka, DShanaka, WHasaranga and Dhanushka make this lineup look really formidable, instead of the like of KMendis and Thisara Perera, who have failed time and time again in the limited overs formats."
7.05pm More from Deivarayan Muthu: There are already heavy puddles of water on the covers, but the local journalists reckon that the drainage is pretty good at this venue. Two super-soppers are in motion near the outfield even as it pours."
Sai: "Just like fans , even the rain Gods are here to witness the comeback of Bumrah ..!!"
Narayan : "According to Weather.com, the maximum this rain should persist is 1 hour, so we can still have a full match with 1.30 hrs of delay. Hoping it sticks to that maximum. "
More from Deiva: "The rain has gotten heavier and fans in the open stands are scampering for shelter now."
6.54pm While we wait for the rain to stop, here's your chance to have your say. Whom would you pick as your cricketers of the 2010s? MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli? Ellyse Perry or Mithali Raj? Get your votes in!
More from Deiva Muthu, our correspondent: "It's more than a drizzle, and the bowlers' run-ups have also been covered. And the DJ is on fire: Tip tip barsa paani is belted out --- Here's hoping the delay is minor. The rain s getting heavier...
Firoz Amin Dhan: "You can't just have 11 players in the side and no one in the dugout to replace in emergency situations like a last minute injury or a concussion substitute. Also just being in the dressing room, practising in the nets everyday with the best Indian players counts for something."
6.47pm Bad news, guys: It's drizzling at Guwahati. The big covers are coming on. Hopefully it's just passing...
6.45pm Fans of fantasy cricket, here are your player recommendations from ESPNcricinfo and Sanjay Bangar.
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando. Danushka Gunathilaka , Kusal Perera, Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga , Lahiru Kumara , Lasith Malinga
Natraj: "Glad to see India not trying to fit in too many allrounders for batting but then compromise their bowling attack. Hope they have realised this is for good and stick with it"
India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Navdeep Saini
Sandeep Heda: "Why cant India bat first irrespective of conditions or whether its a dead or live rubber or whatever. They are good at chasing, why not use these matches to work on their weakness one of them is batting first and putting a target!"
Lasith Malings: Don't expect wicket to change. We have to figure out our best team in the next couple of months with the World Cup ahead
Toss time: Virat Kohli has won the toss and opted to bowl. He feels that based on past matches, batting second's the best bet. "We have World Cup to look forward to, so we can primarily focus on one format," says Virat. Pandey, Jadeja, Chahal and Samson aren't playing.
Piyush : "Up at 4:30 am in San Francisco to watch the return of Bumrah!!! "
Akash Chopra tells the host broadcaster that there is likely to be plenty of dew this evening, so teams are better off chasing. Should India be sent in, do you reckon they will continue with the changed approach that saw them beat West Indies at their own power-hitting game in Mumbai? Or does the change in opposition mean India can go back to their old method of accumulating risk-free runs? Remember, Sri Lanka specialist Rohit Sharma isn't playing.
Ashish Bhatia: "Up as early as 8am in Toronto with sub zero temperatures. Looking forward to a cracker of a match. Good to see Bumrah back steaming in!"
Pradeep : "There were times when legends of both nations used to play against each other twice every year, those were very competitive series mostly having last over finishes."
The spotlight's naturally on the returning Jasprit Bumrah and Sri Lanka's youngsters, but what are you looking forward to the most in this series?
waduge: "Can you please tell us something about weather in Guwahati?" Looking good for a full game
Ashok T: "Surprised to hear that we didnt play Srilanka in a bilateral series for the last 2 years!!!! We normally play with them once on 2 months!!!"
There had been some rain around in Guwahati but Deivarayan Muthu, my colleague, who is at the venue brings good news: it rained heavily this morning, but the weather is expected to be fine this evening. The Basapara stadium, though, is nicely decked up for the series opener. The venue is likely to be the second home for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020, and reportedly some of their officials are here to see how things unfold. The DJ is belting out songs now, and the crowd is building up steadily
Eeppan: "Very excited to see India VS Srilanka T20 after a loong time. Awaiting to watch Bumrah bowling as well."
Staggeringly, Sri Lanka haven't beaten India in a bilateral series for over ten years. They also went down three-zip to Australia after inflicting the same margin of defeat on Pakistan in October last year. Can Sri Lanka end their barren run? Here's our Preview
6pm Hello and welcome to our ball-by-ball coverage of the first T20I of this three match series. Among things making a return: India and Sri Lanka haven't played a bilateral series in over two years, and the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan and Angelo Mathews - who hasn't played a T20I since March 2018 - are all back. In an otherwise young outfit, that might lack composure in crunch moments with the bat, Lasith Malinga is banking on the experience of 'best finisher' Mathews.