Ed Hawkins previews game four from Jo'burg's Wanderers stadium and says the hosts are relying on a returning AB...
"There was a heavy toss bias at the ground under lights with only six teams winning in 29 batting last. So what did South Africa do when they won the toss? They bowled first."
South Africa v India
Saturday 10 February 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
South Africa may well be beginning to regret a six-match one-day series against India. Three games in and they are yet to be competitive, having been beaten by six wickets, nine wickets and 124 runs. A humiliating whitewash is very much on the cards.
There are mitigating circumstances for that sequence of results. AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis and Quinton De Kock have all been injured at some stage - all three missed the beating in Cape Town, for example.
At least they will be boosted by the return of De Villiers for this one. He will add much-needed ballast to the batting and a wise head for naïve captain Aiden Markram to call on. David Miller could be the man to make way.
With the series almost certainly gone, we have to be alive to the possibility that the hosts could now start resting bowlers. Kagiso Rabada has head a heavy workload and could be due for a rest. Morne Morkel sat out the Newlands loss.
The combination of Virat Kohli and India's dual wrist spinners is proving irresistible for South Africa. They simply have no answer.
Kohli made a majestic 160 at Cape Town. It was his second century in three matches and third on tour. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuv Chahal then took four wickets each as India barely broke sweat defending 303. The pair have 21 wickets between them in the series.
And to think that India could still call on Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja if they needed them for their ODI squad.
Earlier it looked as though their pace bowlers would hold sway. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuv Kumar were getting decent movement under lights and the former managed two wickets.
At some stage India will mix things up but we wouldn't expect their match winners to have time off. Instead Shreyas Iyer might be given an opening berth and Mohammad Shami a bowler slot.
The last 13 first-innings scores (most recent last with 1/2 denoting game won by side batting first or second) read: 163-2/361-1/263-2/275-1/315-1/146-2/129-2/233-2/190-1/312-2/343-1/358-1/439-1.
India have been pushed out slightly to [1.65] with South Africa [2.50]. This has to be the AB factor. Still, he can't teach his countrymen how to play spin.
Ordinarily we find it quite easy to make a case for the outsiders but it is increasingly hard with this South Africa line-up. We wanted to give them a chance in Cape Town so long as the toss went their way.
There was a heavy toss bias at the ground under lights with only six teams winning in 29 batting last. So what did South Africa do when they won the toss? They bowled first. If they can't get such basic decisions correct what hope to they have with the more complicated in-play puzzles? So feel free to hit the [1.65] pretty hard.
With Du Plessis and De Kock out and Hashim Amla suffering a dip in form, AB has little to beat here. Certainly no-one comes close to his record at the venue. With 706 runs in 11 innings, including three centuries and three fifties, he should be in a good place about a return. Expect him to slot in ahead of JP Duminy, who top scored with a half-century at No 3 at Cape Town. We're expecting around 3/1 on Betfair Sportsbook.
Kohli is 23/10 for another top-bat effort. He didn't manage honours on his last visit in 2013 when he scored 31 in a heavy India defeat. MS Dhoni top scored that day with 61. MS is 14/1 with Betfair Sportsbook.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l