Once again, India proved they are as dangerous as a wounded animal when pushed into a corner; needing a straight victory to stay alive in the tournament, they bared their fangs and claws to rip apart Pakistan.

They, however, need to be much sharper on Tuesday to snare the second semifinal spot from this group of death; a simple win is not going to be enough as it might well come down to net run-rate.

Luckily, they will know the precise margin of victory, or even defeat, before they begin their game. If Pakistan fail to beat the rampaging Australians, it will be a simple case of staying ahead in the numbers game; otherwise, India will not only need to win, but they will need to win big too.

South Africa, numb after two stunning defeats, are not going to roll over and die though; it won't matter if Pakistan lose and open the door for them or not, they will come out with all guns blazing, hoping at least for a consolation win. India must brace for a backlash. They won't, at least, lose sleep over a question that has kept them awake for some years now: 7-4 or 6-5?

They experimented with five bowlers against England and Australia but the thrashing from the latter has surely resolved the problem, at least for some time now.

Captain Dhoni found himself in the deep end of this whirlpool, primarily because two of his senior players looked totally out of touch: Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag. He tried to crack the twin problem with one stroke, opening the batting with Irfan Pathan. But against a strong team like Australia, it was bound to backfire.

India are anyway known to be vulnerable to speed so it would have made sense to adopt a defensive approach, especially against a quality pace arsenal.

India will go through a similar test of fire against South Africa: Steyn, Morkel and Kallis will bombard them with quick, fast ones and hope to quickly storm into the middle order. Sehwag and Gambhir, whatever be their form, are still the best bet to counter any such challenge. The middle order is young and brave enough to take it forward from there.

The big question, therefore, is: should India retain the same eleven? Does it sound cool to go in with three seamers and hope the part-time spinners will take care of the remaining overs?

It's a tempting option: Lanka's pitches have unexpectedly shown a proclivity towards pace and it's usually smarter not to mess with a winning combination. Also, Zaheer and Balaji were handy against Pakistan while Irfan is an automatic choice in this format. You need extra courage to drop any one of them.

But one can't ignore the impact Yuvraj has had with the ball; he has underlined that spin is equally potent there, especially if you are slower in the air. Moreover, South Africa are still vulnerable to spin, as much as they are capable of choking on their own strengths.

Maybe, it won't be such a bad idea to bring back another spinner and hope for the best; more importantly, India must behave like a cornered animal if they want to enter the semifinal as a strong candidate for the trophy.

Keywords: victory, bowlers ,Captain Dhoni ,Zaheer Khan ,Virender Sehwag,Irfan Pathan,Steyn, Morkel , Kallis ,spinners,cricket news, sports news