Durban: Faced with a do-or-die situation after their crushing 141-run defeat in the first match, India will look to turn around their fortunes with an improved show, especially in the bowling department, when they take on South Africa in the second ODI in Durban on Sunday.
The Indians, licking their wounds after an embarrassing defeat in Johannesburg, need a win at Durban to stay afloat in the three-match series which has been dedicated to anti-apartheid icon and former South African president, Nelson Mandela who passed away on Thursday.
There are chances that the wicket at the Kingsmeand stadium in Durban will be better suited for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men. Yet, the visitors have a lot of ground to cover, specially in their bowling department. The audacity with which the likes of Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy tore apart the Indian bowlers mystified many, given that the conditions were supposed to be conducive for faster bowlers. (Bowlers let us down: Dhoni)
The bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma lacked genuine pace and that led the South African batsmen go after them with a lot of conviction. To add to that, they started with a poor line and length to gift the hosts a confident start. Only Mohammed Shami, during his opening spell, seemed to have some testing deliveries for de Kock and Hashim Amla. One could see the impact of the bowler-friendly conditions the moment Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel came on to bowl and extracted good pace and bounce, something that Dhoni felt was going to be their biggest challenge at the start of the series. (India lacked pace: Quinton de Kock)
Dhoni, who was visibly upset with his new ball bowlers, will look to tinker with the combination and bring in Umesh Yadav, who can add a few extra yards of pace to the current line-up, in placeo f Mohit Sharma. Dhoni will also turn to Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to improve their game and get him wickets in the middle overs.
As for the hosts, leg-spinner Imran Tahir could get a look in. On a flatter and drier wicket, AB de Villiers could also beef up his batting line-up even further by adding a seventh batsman to his line-up in the form of Graeme Smith. It would be interesting to see if the home side captain would wnat to change the winning combination.
An undercooked Indian side suffered at the hands of a side that knew their conditions very well and played accordingly in Johannesburg. Dhoni will hope his side can put their poor performance behind them and look to get a win at Durban to stay alive in the series.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Graeme Smith,Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir.
Match starts at 1330 IST