India's streak of Test series wins has come to a halt after they lost the second Test in Centurion. This was the first series loss for India since the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15 in Australia. Starting with the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka, India had won each of their last nine series. However, it continued a trend of series losses outside Asia. Since the start of 2010, India have played eight series outside Asia excluding the West Indies, and haven't won any of them.
India's top six struggle
Apart from Virat Kohli's 153 in the first innings of the Centurion Test, India's specialist batsmen haven't scored a single fifty in this series. The top six batsmen have averaged 20.45 - their third-worst in any series of two or more Tests. If Kohli's 153 is discounted, the average of the 23 innings played by the top six drops to 14.08. India's top six have never averaged so little on their previous tours of South Africa - their average of 24.42 in 1992-93 was the previous lowest. On their last tour to South Africa, in 2013-14, India's top six averaged 44.78 with two centuries and five fifties.
In the last series between these two sides, which was played in India in 2015-16 season, the visitors' batsmen endured a similarly difficult time. South Africa's top six averaged 17.02 in the four Tests with two fifties, which remains by far their worst in any series since readmission. However, their top six batsmen faced around 55 balls per innings on average, whereas India's top six batsmen have faced an average of only 44 balls per innings on this tour.
Ngidi's dream debut
The 21-year old Lungi Ngidi was the star for South Africa in the fourth innings. His figures of 6 for 39 perhaps brought victory for South Africa sooner than expected. He was also adjudged Man of the Match for his performance. He is the seventh South Africa player to win the Player of the Match award on Test debut.
Ngidi's figures are the second-best by a debutant against India in the fourth innings. The only figures better than Ngidi's 6 for 39 are by another South African bowler: Lance Klusener's 8 for 64 in Kolkata in 1996-97. These are the only two five-fors by debutants in the fourth innings against India.
Pujara and Rohit's poor overseas record
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma have great records at home and poor returns in away Tests. Rohit averages a whopping 85.44 in nine Tests at home, but only 25.35 in 16 away Tests. The difference of 60.09 between his home and away averages is easily the highest among all players who have scored 500-plus runs home and away. Similarly, Pujara has a difference of 27.21 between his home and away averages, 62.97 and 35.76 respectively. His difference is the third-highest among India players with 500-plus runs home and away. Thus, India's top six features two of their worst three players in terms of difference between home and away averages. Ajinkya Rahane, who didn't play the first two Tests, averages 53.44 in away conditions compared to 33.63 at home.
Pujara also became only the 23rd player and the first for India to be run out in both innings of a Test. He is the first player in over 17 years to have been run out twice in a Test. The last instance was Stephen Fleming against Zimbabwe in December 2000. Pujara has also been part of six the last eight run-outs for India in Tests.