The first one-dayer will be followed by two more 50-over matches before the teams lock horns in a two-match Test series in what will be India's first engagement in the post-Sachin Tendulkar era. (Agencies)
The world number ODI side arrived here yesterday and after settling down in the Sandton hotel, the players made their way to the ground to get acclimatised to the conditions here.
Although India are touring with one of their least experienced squads in a long time, what could help them is that six players from the current side toured South Africa in August to play first-class and List A matches. One of the limited-overs games saw Shikhar Dhawan scoring 248.
While South Africa struggled to get their batting combination right in the ODI series against Pakistan recently, India have been a force to reckon with in the shorter format.
"If you love the ball coming on to the bat, that's what you will see," Dhoni told reporters on arrival.
With the tour being curtailed at BCCI's insistence, fans here are reportedly upset, but Dhoni seemed at ease when asked if he was aware of the anger.
"We can arrange a match for the administrators and let them go at it," he said on a lighter vein, referring to the problems between BCCI and CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat.
"The relationship between the Indian and South African teams has been good. Though we've seen a bit of chirping going around, it makes cricket interesting. The guys have not become too personal, which means we will have a good series.
"Whenever we have come here, we've got fantastic reception. I don't think that will really change," he said.
India's coach Duncan Fletcher is hopeful of India living upto the challenge.
"The way the guys have played recently, they've got a lot of confidence. Our batting seems technically equipped. The only thing is the experience. But this lot is confident, they've got no baggage and they really believe in themselves," he said.
The first one-dayer will be followed by two more 50-over matches before the teams lock horns in a two-match Test series in what will be India's first engagement in the post-Sachin Tendulkar era.