Mumbai: South Africa skipper A.B. de Villiers believes India missed star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the later part of the series, as the 29-year-old was ruled out of the One-Day International (ODI) series due to left side strain he sustained in the first match in Kanpur.
"India did miss Ashwin in the later part of the series. He is a champion bowler. But I think injuries do happen in the game... as we missed Morne Morkel in the later part of the series," de Villiers said at the post match press conference.
Powered by centuries each from Faf du Plessis (133), de Villiers (119) and Quinton de Kock (109), South Africa visitors registered a mammoth 214-run win over a spiritless India at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
On the first bilateral series win against India in the country, de Villiers said: "It was a complete performance with the bat and ball from us. I am proud of the performance. We kept things simple which was good. We haven't won a bilateral series here before and it's a proud moment."
The 31-year-old rated Du Plessis's innings as the best among the other knocks.
"Faf came in at a time when the Indian spinners were getting some spin out of the pitch. He didn't get the appreciation he deserved. The knock he played I felt was best among the other hundreds," he said.
The skipper also praised De Kock for delivering after going through a tough phase.
"I am very happy for De Kock. I am a fan now. He is young, has played domestic cricket and come back into the team and delivered. I am proud of his performance," he said.
For South Africa, young pacer Kagiso Rabada (4-41) and experienced seamer Dale Steyn (3-38) were the pick of the bowlers on Sunday.
"He (Rabada) is an amazing bowler. He loves to learn and the potential he has shown is incredible. It's never easy touring India. It was a great series," de Villiers said.
Rabada, who impressed in the series named Steyn, Andrew Flintoff, Glenn McGrath and Mitchell Johnson among his idols.
"Dale Steyn, Andrew Flintoff, Glenn McGrath and Mitchell Johnson are some of my idols. I am still learning and this was a great experience for me to play in front of such big crowd and playing against such big Indian players," he said.