INDORE - If there is a place for India to get their groove back after falling behind early against South Africa, Indore's Holkar Stadium is it. They have won all three ODIs played at the venue, which has not seen international cricket since 2011.

The South African visit threatens to very quickly go downhill for India after they lost the T20 series and the first ODI. They have also lost their premier spinner and the only bowler who really troubled the South Africa batsmen, R Ashwin, to a side strain and have to find both the motivation and the right men to get things back on track.

The captain, MS Dhoni, has to be one of those men especially because, so far, his tactics have been questioned. Dhoni's use of his bowlers have, at times, given South Africa's batsmen a free passage, and he will have to be attacking and aggressive if he wants his team to draw level.

Dhoni need look no further than the opposition camp to see how to do that. South Africa are batting with intent and bowling with energy and the results are falling in their favour. They'll be careful not to think that means nothing can go wrong because, they know that as soon as they get too comfortable, they will likely pay the consequences.

Stuart Binny had to bowl more than expected in Kanpur because of the injury to Ashwin and bat at the end of the innings to try and win the game, and he did not do well at either. He was expensive with the ball and although he did a decent job of handing the strike back to his captain, he got out to the same shot Dhoni did to end India's challenge. He will want to show he is better than that performance.


If David Miller keeps his place in the South Africa XI, it may be his last chance to prove he deserves to stay there longer. Miller has gone 12 innings without an ODI half-century and failed to score more than 15 in four of his last six innings. The only thing keeping Miller in the side at the moment is that there is no obvious replacement but with Rilee Rossouw recovering from injury and Khaya Zondo waiting in the wings, Miller's rope is growing shorter. Apart from waning confidence, his technique needs boosting with his stance and approach to spin both under scrutiny.

With Ashwin suffering a side strain in Kanpur, Harbhajan Singh is likely to play alongside Amit Mishra in the spin role. India may also look at changing the personnel in the pace department; Mohit Sharma could come in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

There is only one question that needs answering for South Africa and that is what to do with Miller. If Faf du Plessis, who left the field with a twisted knee in Kanpur, fails his fitness test, Miller will be safe. If du Plessis is given the green light to play, South Africa may consider handing a debut to Zondo or install Chris Morris at No. 7 to provide an extra seam-bowling option.


SOUTH AFRICA: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt), JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir

INDIA: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Suresh Raina, Stuart Binny, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.