South Africa humiliated India by 141 runs in the first One-Day International at Johannesburg on Thursday, but Proteas' middle-order batsman JP Duminy is aware of the threat posed by the visitors and said it would be a mistake to write off the world champions in the remainder of the three-match series.
Duminy said India are the top ranked ODI team for a reason and added that South Africa are prepared and will fight hard as India look to bounce back in the series.
"It will be naive of us to write them off. There were some bumps and bruises, but like I said, it will be stupid of us to write them off," Duminy said ahead of Sunday's second ODI at Kingsmead.
"You only get to the top of the world rankings by putting in continuous performances like they've done, and I'm sure come tomorrow they're going to bounce back, which we'll have to be prepared for. We're going to have to put in another big performance to make sure we go 2-0 up," Duminy told the South African media.
There were doubts over the second ODI following anti-apartheid icon and former president Nelson Mandela's death on Thursday; but Cricket South Africa said on Friday that the match will go ahead as scheduled and will be marked by a tribute to Mandela. The day of the second ODI - December 8 - has been declared a national day of prayer in South Africa as a tribute to Mandela.
"We have taken this decision in consultation with Sport and Recreation South Africa," CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement on Friday. "We will, of course, appropriately mark the passing away of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of our nation and one of the world's greatest icons."
There were also doubts regarding status of the ongoing tour following Mandela's death, but the South Africa government has given CSA the go ahead for the series to be played out as scheduled.
Duminy, who smashed his way to 59* from 29 deliveries in South Africa's total of 358 for 4 at the Wanderers, also said the comprehensive win was a morale booster for South Africa after their recent 1-2 ODI home series to Pakistan.
"Yes, the guys were really geared up for the challenge (in the first ODI). Beating India was going to be a challenge, especially with the form they brought into the series. So we were pretty fired up to start the series well, especially with a short three-game series. We're pretty pleased to have done that," he said.
While the hosts are upbeat ahead of Sunday's match, the mood is bound to be quite different in the Indian camp as they get ready for a do-or-die match for them.
Durban has been experiencing rain for the past week; and there are indications that Umesh Yadav could replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar for India should the overhead conditions persist and the pitch be conducive to pace and bounce. Mohammad Shami with his extra pace was the only Indian bowler to trouble Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla in the early part at Johannesburg.
India's spinners - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - will hope to have an impact on the match should the conditions suit them.
Imran Tahir could be drafted in to the South African playing XI at Durban; and former captain Graeme Smith could also get a look-in if the Proteas' decide to play seven batsmen. But, this would mean, that last match's centurion, de Kock, would have to bat at No. 3.
The match at Durban will also offer the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina to give a better account of themselves with the bat. India captain MS Dhoni will also be hoping to see an improved performance from his new ball bowlers as well as in the field.
"I was disappointed with the way we bowled."
"More than the death bowling I was disappointed with our new ball bowling. It was not a 350 wicket," Dhoni had said in his post-match comments following the mauling at Johannesburg.
Dhoni had just one advice for his young bowlers after the first ODI: Bowl in the right areas, let the batsmen play good shots. Don't give them a gift. He certainly wouldn't be expecting any from the hosts.
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