Under the scorching sun, the Indian team were forced to field after South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.
India would have suffered more embarrassment if all-rounder Hardik Pandya had not come up with an audacious 93 in the first innings.
Two balls later, de Kock edged Ashwin to India captain Virat Kohli at slips, with Kohli setting off on a vigorous celebration that took him right to the other end of the pitch.
Du Plessis hopes the pitch at the SuperSport Park will also be assisting quicks with pace and bounce. The hosts have not lost at this venue since 2014.
"The one thing I have comfortably done is conveniently forget the history about South Africa". If India's team management managed to confound with new selection shenanigans, their lead bowlers took the expected route of profligacy. Dale Steyn, who had injured himself on Saturday, was forced to walk out as last man and did enough to get de Villiers back on strike.
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Pickford produced an unorthodox stop to deny Kane his second of the afternoon with a speculative strike from distance. Guardiola's team remain unbeaten and 15 points clear at the top of the league standings.
Markram was dismissed trying to cut a ball that was too close to him, getting a thin edge that Patel did well to hang onto.
Talking abut Rabada, Du Plessis believes the best is yet to come for the pacer. Bhuvneshwar had Keshav Maharaj tickling a catch to Saha and Morne Morkel undone by a sharp bouncer, also pouched by Saha for his tenth dismissal. "In the last game it was pace, and it worked, so we are definitely going to look at more ways to upset them a little bit".
Most importantly, Elgar is still there and should be hopeful to continue to build a platform as the Indian attack tires in the heat. He is a massive competitor as everyone sees on the TV, but it's great to see that he's got good values that people might not always see.
And the way the South Africans started their innings, it appeared things were going to get really worse for the Indian team as Dean Elgar and Markram looked largely unperturbed against the fast bowlers from the visiting team.
Calls for the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane, known for his quiet approach, instead of fellow Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma have grown over the few days. However, they failed to grasp the situation later in the day.
Except that Ashwin produced the hugely disappointing figures of 0-83 off 36 overs as South Africa claimed a draw, and almost won. "But there is just about enough in it for both batsmen and bowlers".