Durban: India suffered a crushing 135 runs loss against South Africa in the first One-day International at the Kingsmead Stadium here on Wednesday.
The result comes as a rude shock for the Indian cricket selectors, who in a few days time will be declaring the squad for the World Cup that would be held in the sub-continent from Feb 19.
Chasing a target of 290 runs, Indian batsman paid the price for poor shot selection and were bowled out for 154 runs in 35.4 overs.
Virat Kohli struck a gutsy 54 off 70 balls while captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) and Suresh Raina (32) were the other noticeable contributors.
The only worthwhile partnership of their innings was the 33-run stand between Dhoni and Kohli that helped the visitors cross the 100 mark.
Without regular openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, India failed to get a good start as both Murali Vijay (1) and Sachin Tendulkar (7) departed in quick successions.
India lost last five wickets for just 26 runs and the innings wrapped up in 100 minutes.
Man of the Match Lonwabo Tsotsobe bagged four for 31 while pace spearhead Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel got two wickets each.
Earlier, South Africa coasted to a challenging 289 for nine after skipper Graeme Smith opted to bat first.
Hashim Amla gave the Proteas a flying start with a 36-ball 50 while AB de Villiers (76) and Jean Paul Duminy (73) stitched a 131-run stand for the fourth-wicket that saw South Africa recover from a slump.
Indian medium pacers Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and part-time spinner Rohit Sharma picked up two wickets each as India pulled back things in the last 10 overs giving away 56 runs for four wickets.
Smith (11) departed in the fourth over after he went down the track to charge Ashish Nehra (1/61), but edged it to Rohit at the slips.
Amla came down heavily on Nehra, hitting the left-arm bowler for three consecutive fours in his third over, prompting Dhoni to replace Nehra with Munaf, who struck in his third over by removing a scratchy Colling Ingram (5).
In his next over, Munaf struck again to replace the dangerous looking Amla, who mistimed his shot and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took a good catch running backward at mid-on.
De Villiers and Duminy then played a scintillating innings that saw South Africa recover from a precarious 82 for three to 213 for four.(IANS)