India’s desire to start the process of finding an ideal combination for the T20 World Cup 2024 suffered a minor dent as its first match against South Africa was abandoned without a ball being bowled after persistent rain here on Sunday.
In fact, even the toss did not take place.
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 its search for a perfect blend at Kingsmead but rain put paid to those hopes temporarily.
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 Yadav 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.
The Durban T20I could also have handed India a chance to test its options for the sixth bowler slot, something that assumes importance as Hardik Pandya’s fitness continues to be iffy.
India, perhaps, could have tried the part-time spin of Tilak Varma, who recently bowled a few overs for Hyderabad in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and Yashasvi Jaiswal.
But for now, India will have to hit the meeting room and reinforce its plans ahead of the second match.