The series is done and dusted, and not in a pretty manner either, be that the way India batted in the 2nd T20 international or how the fans reacted to that not-good-at-all showing.

However, with the World T20 coming up next year, every single match in this format is vital, and India will also want to salvage some sort of pride when they play South Africa in the 3rd and final T20I at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.

India's poor show with the bat in the 2nd T20 was overshadowed by the sorry scenes from the crowd in Cuttack, but that does not iron out the issues the batting is facing at the moment.

Without a big score from the top three, India seem to struggle in both formats of limited-overs cricket. Yes, the top three are the ones who need to score the bulk of the runs, but when three wickets are lost in a heap, it is up to the middle order to steady the ship and ensure their bowlers have something to defend.

That did not happen in the 2nd T20I, with poor run outs and even poorer batting decisions leading to India folding for a mere 92.

While credit should go to the South Africa bowlers, who executed their plans to perfection, there is little doubt the Indian batsmen could, and should, have done better.

One option up front for Dhoni is to replace Shikhar Dhawan, who just does not seem to be able to come to terms with T20 international cricket, with Ajinkya Rahane. Rohit Sharma has looked assured at one end, but it never helps the batting order when one opener keeps getting out early.

Rahane has shown in the IPL he is quite effective at the top, and with the series gone with the wind anyway, there really is no reason why the Rajasthan Royals player should not be given a run-out in the middle.

There is also the Ambati Rayudu problem to solve for Dhoni and Ravi Shastri, with the right-hander another one looking a little out of his depth. While the first match cannot be counted, seeing as he was run out early, the second T20I was when India needed Rayudu to play a solid innings.

Instead, the right-hander played a wild shot to a full toss from Kagiso Rabada and saw that timber disturbed. Stuart Binny is an option, but it remains to be seen if Dhoni trusts the Karnataka man's batting skills enough.

South Africa have no such worries, having clinched the series with a match to go. This 3rd T20I, though, will be the perfect opportunity to give the players on the bench a go.

Quinton de Kock is yet to get a hit in the middle, while the Proteas could also give an opportunity to Eddie Leie and Khaya Zondo.

3rd T20I schedule: Thursday, 8 October: India vs South Africa.

Venue: Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Timings: 7 pm IST (3.30 pm SAST, 2.30 pm BST, 9.30 am ET).

TV listings: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 and DD National in India. SuperSport in South Africa. Sky Sports 2 in the UK. Willow TV in the US.