India's strategies of working around the pace and bounce of South Africans appeared to have fallen through as Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulakr went for low scores after playing watchful innings. The tourists stumbled to 85/3 in 25 overs.
Keen to make amends for his poor performance in the last one-dayer, Indian opener Murali Vijay got off a positive start, taking a four each off Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotobe in the first two overs. But then he and Sachin Tendulkar began to play very cautiously.
Tendulkar nearly fell victim to a case of the jitters as he was almost run out in the 6th over. But just when it looked like Vijay was settling in for the long innings, he played a streaky four down to their man off Tsotsobe and in the last ball of the over, he was caught at mid-off trying to go over the top. India were 21/1 in 8 overs when Virat Kohli walked to the crease.
The batting duo then upped the run rate a little, Kohli and Tendulkar each taking a four off Wayne Parnell in the 11th over. But they were still having probelms picking runs off Tsotsobe. In the 15th over, Tendulkar took a single off Parnell to bring up India's 50. The offspinner Johan Botha came on to bowl in the 16th over as the field had spread out.
In the 18th over, Kohli was run at the striker's end courtesy a direct throw from David Miller. He was on his way for 22 and India were tottering at 63/2 in 17.5 overs. Just a few balls, there was more trouble for India when Botha bowled Tendulakr for 24. India were 67/3 in 18.4 overs.
The new bstamen Yuvraj Singh and M S Dhoni struggled to make runs, scampering occasional singles with boundaries hard to come by. India crawled to 85/3 at the end of the 25th over.