JOHANNESBURG, March 29 (PTI): After the battering it was subjected to during the tour of Australia and the Asia Cup, the Indian cricket team would look to make a fresh start before the IPL razzmatazz when it takes on an in-form South Africa in a one-off Twenty20 international here tomorrow.
The match is being organised to commemorate 150 years of the settlement of the Indians in South Africa but its scheduling did raise a lot of eyebrows.
The match is happening just after the Asia Cup, of which India was a part, and a few days after the Proteas hosted New Zealand for a long tour, involving T20s, ODIs and a Test series.
In a cramped international calendar, the game does seem like an oddity given that the Indians would be travelling all the way for just over four hours slam bang action before getting busy with their respective IPL franchises. Only five days separate the match and the beginning of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League.
The long journey means that several players will miss initial practice camps with their respective franchises and that would certainly add to the physical strain.
However, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has ruled out the fatigue factor.
“All happy. I don’t think fatigue will be a real factor. We all enjoy playing the IPL... That’s one format where you are not representing your country, and the span of the tournament is slightly longer so you play quite a few games,” Dhoni said after arriving with the team.
The Indians are not heading into the match in the best of form given the poor form the team has endured in the past few months.
Squads: India: MS Dhoni (C), Virat Kohli (vc), Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.
South Africa: Johan Botha (C), Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk, Dane Vilas.