South Africa will be moving in for the kill even as India fights to stay alive. It should be a fascinating game of life and death in the series.
The third Twenty20 international at the ACA-VDCA stadium on Tuesday has all the ingredients of a potboiler.
The Proteas, leading 2-0 in the five match series, could emerge the series winner with a victory here.
Can the South African juggernaut be stopped? India has to make some tough calls.
Bhuveneshwar Kumar was brilliant with his line control, movement and pace variations on a testing Cuttack pitch where a total just short of 150 was defendabe. However, the rest of the attack disappointed.
In the first game, the Indian attack failed to defend a total beyond 200 on a flat deck. The bowling is leaking runs.
Arshdeep Singh, apart from giving India the left-arm variety, can send down incisive yorkers in the end overs. He has pace, heart and skill.
India can also unleash the fast and furious Umran Malik, among the quickest in the world.
Umran could hustle the Proteas, trouble and scalp them. Like Arshdeep he has a potent yorker of speed and accuracy.
Going into the attacking mode, India could play Ravi Bishnoi and Yuzvendra Chahal together as a leg-spinning duo. The Proteas can be vulnerable against leg-spin and Bishnoi and Chahal are different in the way they bowl.
The South Africans have been remarkable in the manner they have overcome the odds with situations throwing up heroes.
Key batsman Aiden Markram was ruled out for at least a week with Covid-19 but Rassie van der Dussen stepped up magnificently in the first game.
The decision to promote all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius in the series opener was a masterstroke.
Ace wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock’s hand injury ruled him out of the second game but his replacement, Heinrich Klassen, conjured an innings of some sensational power hitting to enable South Africa reach the target.
Then, the South African has David Miller in the form of his life. The southpaw is not just striking the ball hard and long, but doing so with a calm head, authority and confidence; his shot selection has improved markedly.
The fiery pace attack of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje along with the support seamers and the spinners, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, should probe the Indians on a surface expected to possess good bounce and carry.
With plenty riding on it, the game should test the character of both teams.