Much was expected from the Virat Kohli-led side, who tasted victory in their last two away assignments in Australia and the West Indies, before they set feet on New Zealand.

After whitewashing the Kiwis in the T20I series, the hefty cost that the Indian team paid to the hosts in the following ODI and Test series was a testament to the fact that they are yet to attain the consistency of dominating teams on foreign soils.

A depleted team India will now face a rejuvenated South Africa side, who thrashed Australia 3-0 in their last ODI series, for a three-match ODI series, starting in Dharmshala from March 12, before taking part in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League from March 29.

After a harrowing tour of New Zealand, more than anything, the South Africa series will give India a chance to revive their image before the IPL begins and players are relieved from their national duty.

IND vs SA, 1st ODI: Pitch Report

The wicket at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala has an unbiased nature to it and both the batsmen and bowlers have always had something to enjoy there. However, the overcast condition and the Himalayan winds will come as a huge advantage to the bowlers.

But with heavy dew coming into play during the evening time and the late hours of the match, the batsmen will have their party as well.

IND vs SA, 1st ODI: Weather Forecast

Another series-opener featuring India and South Africa could well be abandoned due to rain. Last year, the first T20I of three-match series had suffered a similar fate in Dharamshala. And it looks like the people there will have to wait further to witness some international action.

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Screengrab from Accuweather.

During the initial hours of the match on Thursday, the chance of rain remains constant at around 50% before increasing to almost 70% at the late evening hours. With such a high percentage, the first ODI is likely to either be called off or made a contest of lower number of overs.