South Africa eye series and Super League lift
It will be far from straightforward for the visitors though, with India's second-string side having already pushed them all the way in Lucknow
Big pictureA narrow win in Lucknow gave South Africa ten points and lifted their World Cup Super League tally to 59, but they are still 11th, and a long way behind eighth-placed West Indies, who have 88 points.
Given that they have forfeited 30 points by pulling out of the scheduled three-match series in Australia early next year, South Africa's chances of direct qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup hinge on picking up maximum points from a small number of games.
After the two remaining matches of this India series, they have just two more Super League assignments - against Netherlands and England at home next year. They will want to go into that home summer with 79 points in their bag, which means winning in Ranchi and then Delhi.
The Lucknow ODI showed it will be a far-from-straightforward task, with a second-string India side pushing South Africa all the way despite seeming to be out of the contest two-thirds of the way in. India are without most of their first-choice players, but the group that is playing this ODI series is both hugely talented and extremely hungry, knowing how much competition there is for every slot in every format.
Even Shikhar Dhawan, who is captaining the side and is arguably an all-time great in ODIs, can't take his place for granted come the 2023 World Cup. South Africa can expect another dogfight, therefore, when they get on the field on Sunday.
India LWWWW (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
South Africa WLWLW
South Africa WLWLW
In the spotlightRuturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan spent approximately an hour each at the crease in the first ODI, and scored 19 off 42 balls and 20 off 37, respectively, as South Africa's quicks extracted prodigious seam movement with the new and newish ball. Conditions in Ranchi are unlikely to be as difficult for top-order batters, and Gaikwad and Kishan will hope they can make a better impression against high-quality fast bowling.
Since his debut in 2017, Aiden Markram has the second-worst average of 23.26 against spin among all top-four batters from Full-Member teams to have faced at least 200 balls from spinners in ODIs (West Indies' Brandon King, who averages an astonishingly poor 11.09 against spin, heads that list). Markram endured a brutal working-over at Kuldeep Yadav's hands in Lucknow, and he will have to prepare to face a lot more of the left-arm wristspinner through the rest of the series.
Team newsWashington Sundar has come into India's squad as a replacement for Deepak Chahar, who is out with a back issue. With Chahar absent, it is unlikely India will make changes to their pace attack from the first ODI. But they could look at a swap in the spin department, with the allrounder Shahbaz Ahmed potentially coming in for Ravi Bishnoi, who endured a difficult ODI debut in Lucknow.
India (possible): 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Sanju Samson (wk), 7 Shardul Thakur, 8 Ravi Bishnoi/Shahbaz Ahmed, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Dwaine Pretorius is out of this series and the upcoming T20 World Cup with a broken thumb, and while South Africa have named Marco Jansen as his replacement for this series, they are yet to pick one for the World Cup. Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo are the two main contenders, and it is possible South Africa may bring either or both into their side to give them game time. With India targeting Tabraiz Shamsi mercilessly through both the T20I and ODI legs of this series, South Africa may pick just the one spinner.
South Africa (possible): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Janneman Malan, 3 Temba Bavuma (capt), 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Wayne Parnell/Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Tabraiz Shamsi/Marco Jansen/Anrich Nortje, 11 Lungi Ngidi
Pitch and conditionsRain reduced the Lucknow ODI to a 40-overs-a-side contest, and the forecast for Sunday suggests there is a 20% chance of rain in Ranchi as well.
The pitch at the JSCA Stadium usually has runs in it, with three of the five ODIs at the venue producing 280-plus first-innings scores. Neither style of bowling has enjoyed a marked advantage over the other in those five matches, with fast bowlers averaging 33.69 and conceding 5.36 runs to the over, and spinners returning corresponding figures of 36.80 and 5.35.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"I wouldn't say it's a second-string Indian side. India is blessed with so much talent that they could probably field four to five proper international sides. A lot of the guys in the Indian team have IPL and international experience. Shikhar Dhawan has played numerous ODIs; Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson - the talent that's in the Indian team, I wouldn't look at it as weakened. They are still world-class performers out there."
Keshav Maharaj doesn't see a second-string India as any weaker
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo