It is a challenge for India to be efficient in unfriendly bowling conditions.
India did fight without its bowling spearhead Jhulan Goswami in the fourth one-dayer. The team also posted its best total of 266 when the openers failed to fire.
There are a lot of positives for the Indian team, even as it trails 1-3 in the series, having lost three matches when batting first. It is a challenge for both the teams to win a match after losing the toss.
There is no doubt that South Africa has responded better to the conditions, built on the luck of winning the toss. Its catching and fielding have been exceptional.
The batting has fared brilliantly, with openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt playing a significant role. They have scored 442 runs combined in the four matches.
From starting the innings with two sixes in the first over and winding up the show with two fours in the 29th over, opener Smriti Mandhana was top class in the second one-dayer when India won.
Smriti, along with Harmanpreet Kaur, has the ability to help India win matches, even while batting first in these conditions.
When Punam Raut scored a flawless century in the fourth game, the Indian bowling was below par and unable to extinguish the Proteas batting firepower.
Onus on spinners
On the eve of the fifth match, leg-spinner Poonam Yadav did concede, while addressing the media, that the spinners had the onus to stop the run flow, if unable to take wickets.
The team’s best bat so far, the other Punam, had talked about the need for bowling discipline and operating to a plan.
India needs to come up with an improved all-round show if it aspires to bridge the gap in the five-match series, before the three T20Is.