1. INDIA & KOHLI SEEK ANSWERS
There are many questions that the team management will have to answer in the next 13 months during which IPL will also be held. Save Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, who is rested for this series, at least seven slots in the playing XI and four more in the 15-member squad are up for grabs.
Manish Pandey has been in and around for years now and despite the kind of quality he possesses, the Karnataka batsman has not inspired the highest confidence in the chances he got.
So will it be Pandey at No 4 or Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer, who was in fine form during the Windies one-dayers? The other fascinating aspect will be the future of spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, at least in the shortest version. Rajasthan leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is a young talent and is being billed as one for the future. And with all-rounder, Krunal Pandya also shaping up well and Ravindra Jadeja's experience set to come in handy, where does it leave the much in demand wrist spin duo, who had replaced R Ashwin and Jadeja (for the better part) post-2017 Champions Trophy.
Last but not the least is the pace department where Bumrah is the only certainty. Deepak Chahar is an inspired investment for shortest version. And then there is Navdeep Saini with raw pace and Khaleel Ahmed bringing in the left-arm variety but known to leak runs. Will they be persisted within the long run? In the next 13 months, Kohli will seek all the answers.
2. SOUTH AFRICA SEEK REVIVAL
They are a side in transition but the memories of a T20I series win in Indian shores in the 2015-16 tour would spur them. And they have a few players who can turn it around for them like Kagiso Rabada, captain Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller and George Linde. They will be hoping for a collective effort.
3. THE SQUADS
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (c), Rassie van der Dussen (vc), Temba Bauvma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukyao, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde.
4. TV TIMING
The match will be aired live on Star Sports Networks from 7 pm IST and will be streamed live on HotStar. You can also follow MyKhel Live Blog.