After winning the series against New Zealand, India toured South Africa, which happened to be Rahul Dravid’s first away series as a coach. They had two historical achievements in sight, going into the series.
After winning the first game, things seemed all positive for India. But South Africa had an extraordinary turnover to beat the current World Test Championship runner-up by 2-1.
South African cricket has always indirectly felt indebted to Indian cricket. Mostly because India was their first guest in 1992 after their long exile from cricket. This was indeed a big step to take South African cricket forward after their long break.
But India would not feel like a guest South Africa has always treated them in that way on the field. The Proteas hosted India 7 times prior to this series and won every time bar one. That series in 2010-11 was drawn 1-1. India could fashion only 3 wins along with 7 draws in 20 matches on the African turfs.
Their first win gave some hopes of breaking the deadlock but all fell apart in the last two games of the series.
Apart from winning a series in South Africa, India had another feat to achieve, a feat no Asian country could ever achieve.
At the beginning of 2021, India won the Border-Gavaskar trophy, conquering Australia by a 2-1 margin. Team India then won the Pataudi trophy defeating England at their home ground.
If they could conquer South Africa, they had an extraordinary chance to conquer 3 SENA countries consecutively within the span of a year.
Let alone doing this within a year, no Asian team have ever won 3 series consecutively in 3 different SENA countries.
India had their chance to create history, had everything under control and fortune in their own hands. But once again they return home empty-handed from South Africa.