MS Dhoni Suresh Raina India
The India batting needs to click in this ODI series against South AfricaReuters

The India vs South Africa series so far has only gone one way. The hosts will attempt to reverse the trend when the one-day international series comes calling, starting with the 1st ODI in Kanpur on Sunday.

The only day game of the series, expect a tyrpically flat Indian ODI wicket, with the heat also set to have its say.

How the teams cope with that could be the difference between a 1-0 lead in the series or playing catchup, something India want to avoid at all costs.

Having lost that first T20I against South Africa – a cliffhanger of a contest – India never really recovered, and even if this is a five-match series, the home team really need a win at Green Park to get things rolling.

One of the things that could get them rolling is the spinners, with skipper MS Dhoni admitting India could go in with three slow bowlers, considering dew will not be a factor in this day game. The three spinners in the squad are R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra.

"If you see, this is one venue we can [play with three spinners]," Dhoni said. "We will have a look at the pitch, how dry it is, and the chances of it breaking up and assisting the spinners.

"But definitely, with no dew, the three spinner option is available to us. Also, we have to keep in mind that it is an early start. It is a venue we can look at going in with three spinners."

South Africa will go into this first one-day international full of confidence, having bested India in all departments in the shortest format. They will know it is only a matter of time before India get their act together, but AB De Villiers, the captain of the Proteas in this format, will also be aware he has the weapons in his team to counter anything the Men in Blue might throw at them.

The bating looks settled, with their key men in form, while Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, two bowlers who were rested for the T20I series, will bolster the bowling.

"It is nice to have Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn back -- they have a lot of experience," De Villiers said. "We haven't seen them for a while so they bring good energy and experience to the side. I am very excited to see them running in to bowl tomorrow again. They both look in really good form.

"We have got a very balanced bowling attack. We don't lean too much on the seamers or the spin bowlers. We have got firepower in all departments in our bowling.

"We have seen that over the years that we have got a lot of pace with the guys who can swing it and move it off the seam. But, we have good spin bowlers as well."

When it comes to spin, India do hold the trump cards. But if that is enough to sway the series in their favour, only time will tell. The slow bowlers will not get a better opportunity to make an impression, in this ODI series, though, than in the first one-dayer.

Team news: India: Dhoni said clearly he doesn't see Ajinkya Rahane as a middle-order batsman, which means the Mumbaikar is likely to sit this match out, as Shikhar Dhawan is a different beast in the ODI format. Gurkeerat Singh Mann will also not get an opportunity right off, but Amit Mishra will hope Dhoni takes those three spinners comments to heart and gives him a bowl.

South Africa: Steyn and Morkel should make it to the playing XI, which means one of Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada will sit out. The balance of the team decision is likely to force one of Farhaan Behardien and Chris Morris as well.

Expected lineups: India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers (C), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott, Imran Tahir.

Where to Watch Live

Get the full report HERE

Read about Ashwin's injury and who has replaced him in the squad HERE

Get the 1st ODI as it happened HERE

India vs South Africa 1st ODI match is scheduled for a 9 am local time (5.30 am SAST. 4.30 am BST, 11.30 pm ET) start. Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 (Hindi) and DD National will show the match live in India. Audience in India, and other parts of the sub-continent, can also watch the first one-day international in Kanpur via live streaming online on Hotstar and

Viewers in South Africa, brave enough to have woken up/stayed up can watch this first match of the ODI series on SuperSport, with the online live stream option on SuperSport Live.

Viewers in the UK, also brave enough to stay up/wake up early can switch to Sky Sports 2, with the live streaming option online option on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports.

Audience in the US will be able to watch India vs South Africa live on live on Willow TV, while the game can also be live streamed on Willow TV online

Watch the ODI match live in the Middle East and North Africa on OSN Sports, while India vs South Arica can also be live streamed on OSN Play.

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