After a remarkable performance in the first test, India went down to the hosts on the final day even though they had the upper hand after Day 1. The South African team had the added inspiration of doing something spectacular for Jacques Kallis' final test match and that was what lifted all of them to fire in unison. The Indian bowlers felt the workload especially after the last match heroics. They couldn't rise to the occasion when required and conceded a match-winning lead. Lower order batsmen (Steyn and Petersen) scored useful runs while putting up the necessary lead on the board. Though there was not much help with the track, the spell by Steyn on the second day was what blew away the Indians.
Overall, it was a good performance by Vijay, Pujara, Kohli (in the first innings) and Rahane (in both innings) but that was not good enough. If the team had managed to collectively play out one more session on the final day, the match would have ended in a respectable draw. Rain too didnt come to their rescue on the final day! Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have to go back to the drawing board and ensure that the lessons learnt during the tour will be used properly in latter tours for their country.
On the bowling front, Shami was persevering and fresh in his approach. Zaheer was tired in the second test while Ishant Sharma showed that he was back to his erratic ways after two consecutive matches (final ODI and first test) of good performance. Ravindra Jadeja was the positive factor in the match from the bowling unit, keeping one end tight and picking up wickets regularly. It is time Ishant is rested in one format and Umesh provided the necessary opportunities in the future tours.
A creditable performance in this test series even though it was lost. The Indian team has gained valuable experience during this tour that will help the juniors for the rest of their careers. Hopefully, they will get the necessary opportunities to showcase what they have learnt.