Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded that even though they devised a few plans for the South African batsmen but it didn't work out well.
The bowlers were plundered for 620 runs at the Centurion and they managed to dismiss only four South African batsmen.
"It was difficult because there was not much help from the wicket. We don't have bowlers with express pace. They don't bowl in 140s so they have to be even more precise with their line and length," Dhoni tried to defend the pace trio of S Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma and rookie Jaydev Unadkat.
"We tried different fields. We tried to contain them but were unsuccessful for the better part of their innings," he said.
When asked whether Zaheer Khan's absence made a big difference in the first Test, he said, "It's not that whenever Zaheer plays, he gets wickets. But with the amount of experience in his repertoire, he always has a back-up plan ready in case the first strategy doesn't work."
"It's always difficult to predict the performance of an individual. Especially, we talk a lot about an individual when he is not present," Dhoni added.
The skipper also admitted that losing the first Test match of an overseas tour is something this team needs to get rid of.
"That's one quality we have," Dhoni said sarcastically.
"We don't really do well in the first Test. It's not only in India but even overseas. However, if you look at the previous records, we have come back well in the later stages. Hopefully, we will be back in the next two Test matches," an optimistic Dhoni said.