Cape Town - Proteas captain AB de Villiers says their assault with the new ball will be key in the upcoming three-match ODI series against India.The Proteas beat Pakistan by four wickets in Centurion on Saturday, but conceded the series 2-1.They now tackle the world champions who arrive in South Africa brimming with confidence."We'll come hard at them and bowl with tremendous conviction is those first few overs; we want to take three or four wickets as soon as possible," De Villiers told the Beeld website."The biggest threat that India pose is with their top-order batsmen who can hit a lot of boundaries and accumulate runs quickly. We have to counter that by striking hard and early and get them on the back foot quickly with our pace attack."We'll have to protect the new ball well and try keep it in good condition for as long as possibly in order to get the most assistance from it."De Villiers said he was happy with the bowlers' performances against Pakistan, but insisted their batting must improve."We need bigger partnerships to give our innings momentum."The first ODI starts at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Thursday.