KL Rahul says India must learn from their ODI series defeat to South Africa and suggested "a few" changes could be made when they attempt to avoid a whitewash.
The tourists have been unable to show a positive response to their 2-1 Test series defeat at the hands of the Proteas, suffering back-to-back defeats in the 50-over format.
India posted 287-6 after Rahul won the toss on a searing hot Friday in Paarl, Rishabh Pant top scoring with a swashbuckling 85 off 71 balls and the captain making 55 at the top of the order.
South Africa chased down their target with 11 balls to spare, winning by seven wickets after Janneman Malan (91) and Quinton de Kock (78) laid the foundations with an opening stand of 132.
Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen were both unbeaten on 37, while Bavuma made 35 as the Proteas wrapped up a fourth ODI series win out of five against India,
Rahul, skippering the side in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma, stressed that India can use the defeats as part of their development.
He said during the post-match presentation: "They are playing some really good cricket at home and we are making mistakes in the middle. It's good learning for us.
"Obviously it's not great to be on the losing side two games in a row. We're trying to get better at things we haven't done well in the past.
"The middle order is crucial going into a big tournament. We want to get wickets in the middle, create pressure. They showed us the importance of partnerships and the importance of putting pressure on early."
South Africa seal comfortable win to take unassailable lead in the series— ICC (@ICC) January 21, 2022
Half-centuries from openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock take them to a 2-0 series win!
Watch the series live on https://t.co/CPDKNxoJ9v (in select regions)#SAvIND | https://t.co/GgjKcxXNrB pic.twitter.com/MWeG1l4y6s
The tourists must regroup ahead of the third and final ODI at Newlands, where they may make alterations to the side.
Rahul said: "I'm not saying it as an excuse but we haven't played 50 overs cricket in a long time. It's been tough on the body, staying in the bubbles. It's challenging, but I'm not saying we don't love challenges.
"[We have to] look ahead to the third game and try to win that one. Maybe a few changes, may not be, I can't say."