India and South Africa clash in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Wednesday. It is not often that a touring team dominates India in the manner South Africa have done so far on their tour, and it will be a challenge for the hosts to stop the tourists from registering yet another win. MS Dhoni and his men would be desperate to put their A game forward and level the series. A defeat in the second ODI will increase the pressure immensely on the Indian cricket team and on captain Dhoni, who has already copped a lot after the loss in the Twenty20 International (T20I) series as well as in the first ODI. SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 2nd ODI at Indore

The South Africans would consider themselves lucky to have emerged winners in the first ODI, as Dhoni’s career graph is evidently on a downward spiral. The Indian captain has not struggled often in collecting 11 runs in 6 balls in tense situations — as he had to do in the final over of the first ODI — and South Africa would know that they cannot keep riding their luck for long. The Indian batting line-up is decked up well and it should only be a matter of time before they all turn up in a devastating mood.

Dhoni and co. have been beaten in three complete matches out of four in this bilateral affair. Few would have thought that the South Africans would start the tour so emphatically; they have executed their plans well and made merry on the batting-friendly Indian pitches on which they already have ample experience thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL). ALSO READ: India vs South Africa 2015: Five reasons for the hosts’ stunning loss in 1st ODI at Kanpur

For South Africa, runs are coming with a lot of ease. AB de Villiers has already cracked a century and a fifty on this tour, Faf du Plessis scored a half-century in the first ODI, and JP Duminy and Hashim Amla have also chipped in with crucial knocks. On the other hand, only two Indian batsmen have done the scoring. Rohit Sharma has already slammed two centuries, and Ajinkya Rahane got a half-century in the first ODI. India’s aim should not only be to bounce back, but also to match their opponents with their key men such as Virat Kohli stepping up with the bat.

The bowling department has been the biggest worry for India. The injury to Ravichandran Ashwin in the first ODI at Kanpur threw their plans out of the window; his loss, more than anything else, will have put India in further pressure. Harbhajan Singh has been drafted in, but there is no Indian bowler who could create an impact as strong as Ashwin in Indian conditions. India will have high hopes on Harbhajan and Amit Mishra, who will be playing key role in India’s revival.

Nevertheless, Ashwin’s absence won’t matter much to the touring South Africans as they are well aware of the weak links in the Indian bowling line-up. The fast bowlers not only look harmless, but they have absolutely nothing that could pose a threat to the South African batsmen. Umesh Yadav did claim two wickets in the first ODI, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 10 overs that cost 67 runs was a bit of a concern for India. Bhuvneshwar has struggled on all fronts, and it will be interesting to see if Dhoni still persists with the right-arm seamer.

South Africa have reaped benefits of sticking to their plans and executing them well. Be it Imran Tahir’s dangerous knack of picking up wickets or Kagiso Rabada’s well-aimed bouncers, the tourists have tended to show more intent on winning matches and making strong starts than the Indians. The hosts, on the other hand, have not really been able to bring the best out of them.

The last ODI played at this venue was in December 2011, when Virender Sehwag made mincemeat of a hapless West Indian bowling attack. Sehwag hummed Kishore Kumar songs en route a record 219 — then the highest ODI score — as India registered a massive win. Traditionally, the track at the Holkar Cricket Stadium assists the batsmen and the presence of good, clean hitters in both the camps promise yet another run-fest hum drum.

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)