T20I Series between India and South Africa – All eyes on tomorrow’s tie at PCA stadium; Met forecast: partly cloudy sky

Nitin Sharma
Virat Kohli in Chandigarh on Monday. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

With the opening match of the T20I series between India and South Africa at Dharmamshala being washed out due to rain, the focus has shifted to Mohali with the IS Bindra PCA Stadium set to host the second match of the T20I series on September 18. This will be the 26th international match and the fifth T20I at the stadium.

Virat Kohli-led Indian team and Quinton de Kock-led South African team arrived in Chandigarh on Monday. While Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the rest of the Indian team apart from head coach Ravi Shastri opted to stay at the team hotel in Chandigarh, four players Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant and K L Rahul took part in an optional practice session under the watchful eyes of newly appointed batting coach Vikram Rathour. The team management had asked for four seamers and four spinners for Monday s practice session and Rathour was seen making throw downs to Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya apart from observing Pant and Rahul s batting. Pant was also seen trying for some big hits against the pacers apart from spending time facing spinners, including first class spinner Varun Khanna, in the nets. The Indian team arrived in the afternoon and looked relaxed. The players love coming to Chandigarh and playing at IS Bindra PCA Stadium, Mohali. Four players and coaching staff had asked for a practice session and arrangements were made. It will be fifth T20I to be hosted by PCA and we are hopeful that it will a full house, said a PCA official.

While the South Africa team had arrived in the city before the Indian team, the team management opted for rest. Later in the evening, some players, including David Miller, who plays for IPL side Kings XI Punjab, went to a city mall. South Africa have played a total of three ODIs and one Test match at the IS Bindra Stadium so far. Incidentally, South Africa was the first international team to play at the stadium when they faced India in an ODI on November 22, 1993. The last time, South Africa played at Mohali was in 2015, when they lost to India by 108 runs in the first Test match of the series. Even though the South Africa team arrived in the morning, the team had decided about not having a practice session. Some of the players, including David Miller, went for shopping at a city mall in the evening, said a PCA official.

Three players of South Africa team walked to a nearby mall from the team hotel and did some shopping. After some time, the players were surrounded by a crowd. After that, the players went back to the team hotel with the team security.

More than 72 per cent of tickets have been sold for the match. While tickets under some categories are available online at http://www.insider.in, tickets from some categories will be available at PCA Stadium counters on Tuesday. The Met forecast is of partly cloudy sky on Wednesday with the maximum temperature being 35 degrees and minimum being 25 degrees. More than 72 per cent tickets have been sold with chair block tickets sold out completely. Various match committees met today and reviewed all the arrangements. Tickets sales will also happen on Tuesday and we expect a full house on Wednesday, said R P Singla, secretary, PCA.