New Delhi: After losing the T20 series and trailing 1-2 in the five-match ODI series against robust South Africa, MS Dhoni & Co would be under immense pressure to turn the tables around.
To claim the on-going 50-over series, India have to win the last two remaining matches, which is certainly a Herculean task to achieve for the home side, who is struggling with its team combination.
Indian batsmen and bowlers have performed in patches and have failed to play as a unit thus far, which must be giving the street-wise Dhoni sleepless nights.
Injury of premier bowler Ravichandran Ashwin during the first ODI added to Team India's woes.
In Axar Patel, Stuart Binny and Gurkeerat Singh Mann, national selectors picked three all-rounders for the series. The first two couldn't manage to impress with bat and ball, barring Patel's bowling performance in the 2nd ODI in Indore, when he returned with a three-wicket haul.
Mann is still warming the bench, waiting to play his debut match.
The 25-year-old recently delivered superlative all-round performances against South Africa A and Australia A during the unofficial matches to earn a maiden call in the Indian squad.
At a time when Team India is searching for the right combination, the Punjab cricketer could emerge as a dark horse and change their fortunes.
Dhoni being an experimental skipper should give the 25-year-old a chance in the last two ODIs, so that he can prove his mettle at the biggest stage.