After an easy win in Mohali, India's momentum was curbed by a damp squib in Bengaluru, with South Africa now desperate to bounce back and level the series when the 3rd Test match gets underway in Nagpur from Wednesday.
South Africa looked in trouble after day one of the second Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, with India in complete control, but what looked like being another home team win vanished into the clouds that hovered menacingly over the ground for the remaining four days of the match.
With that draw, this four-match series essentially becomes a three-match one, which means there isn't much room for error, particularly for South Africa, who are 1-0 down, owing to that under-three-days loss in Mohali.
The VCA Stadium in Jamtha is expected to serve another it's-gonna-turn-quite-a-bit-boys wicket, which means the advantage will be with India again.
The fact that South Africa struggled to cope with the spinners even on pitch in Bengaluru that wasn't turning that much will give the Indians plenty of encouragement, especially if the wicket is to their liking.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have proved to be potent weapons with the ball in this series so far, with South Africa's biggest score of this Test series being just 214, when they were bowled out for that total in the first innings of the second Test.
Ashwin and Jadeja will fancy their chances again in this third Test match, and the onus is definitely on the South Africa batsmen to put the pressure back on the India bowling. Don't give away cheap wickets, fight it out in the middle and frustrate the bowlers should be the mantras for Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers and co. going into the crucial match in Nagpur.
While South Africa's batsmen have struggled considerably, India's haven't fared too well either, and that "what might have been" feeling will still be hovering around the batsmen, after the openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay – made a strong start to the first innings, before rain disrupted play.
That really is the key for India – the openers building a big partnership; because the moment they do that, the pressure immediately decreases on that brittle middle order, and when there is less pressure, you are able to play a little more freely, which means playing your natural game, which, in turn, means scoring runs.
Dhawan, who has copped quite a lot of criticism for his lack of runs in this Freedom Series against South Africa, needs to take the confidence from that unbeaten 45 from the second Test match and turn it into a big score in Nagpur. The left-hander left those balls outside off stump alone fairly well in that brief, yet fruitful innings, and the more he sticks to that routine, the better his chances will be to succeed.
You feel if Dhawan and Vijay blossom at the top, the rest of the batting – even if Virat Kohli goes back to the five-bowler lineup again -- will take care of itself. And if India's batting backs up the bowlers, then South Africa will need to play out of their skins to get anything out of the Test match.
3rd Test match schedule: India vs South Africa.
Date: Wednesday, 25 November to Sunday, 29 November.
Time: 9.30 am IST (6 am SAST, 4 am GMT, 11 pm ET).
Session timings: First session: 9.30-11.30 am. Lunch: 11.30 am to 12.10 pm. Second session: 12.10-2.10 pm. Tea: 2.10-2.30 pm. Third session: 2.30-4.30 pm (extendable by half an hour).
Venue: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur.
TV listings: India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD3. South Africa: SuperSport. USA: Willow TV. UK: Sky Sports 2. Middle East: OSN Play.