India, who had won the first and third Test matches against South Africa in Mohali and Nagpur with ease, faced a resolute Proteas' side in the fourth innings of the fourth Test match in Delhi.
The South Africa batsmen adopted the blockathon policy while chasing an improbable target of 481 as they were going for a draw, but Indian bowlers, who had shown some great form, dismissed the visitors for 143 runs in 143.1 overs to clinch the fourth Test match and the series 3-0.
Players such as Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers applied themselves on the crease like no other and frustrated the India bowlers, which prompted Kohli to use part-timers like Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan. Amla scored 25 runs from 244 balls while de Villiers, known for his attacking brand of cricket, looked solid as a wall and scored an uncharacteristic 43 from 297 balls.
After de Villiers' dismissal in the 140th over, Indian bowlers required only three more overs to clean up the tail and bring smiles on the faces of players and fans alike in Delhi. Among all the victories in the Test series, this win will rank right up there as India bowlers never gave up and showed a lot of character.
"All the wins were special, but this one, because we had to work harder, the South African batsmen put their head down and played for a draw, was always hard work. I just asked the bowlers to put their hands up and that's what happened after tea," said India skipper Virat Kohli. "That really depends on how much energy the team is showing. Standing on my own I can't do anything. All 11 guys deserve the credit. We were surprised with how they were defending, their approach."
South Africa, with the effort they put in in the fourth innings of the Test match in Delhi, at least, deserved a draw for their patience and determination. However, India bowlers proved too good against their batsmen.
"We knew we had to bat long and hard, we tried our exceptional best. AB had a fantastic effort. You got to do what is best for the team, it is easy to go out there and get some runs, but we tried to take it as deep as possible, get something from this game." said Amla.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who tormented South Africa in the Test series, put up a brave face when the batsmen were just blocking his balls and were not gifting their wickets as they had done in the previous Test matches. Ashwin put in his A-game to claim five crucial wickets in the second innings.
"I think it is a great feeling, a fitting finale to a wonderful series. We were going for it, we fought really hard, they dug in really deep," added Ashwin.