South Africa spinner George Linde lamented Rohit Sharma's reprieve early during his innings, which cost South Africa dearly as the Indian opener slammed his maiden double century in Test cricket.
Rohit, batting on 28 on the first day, got a leading edge while defending off Linde but Zubayr Hamza failed to latch onto the chance.
The senior batsman then cashed in on the missed chance to score 212 as India declared their innings at a mammoth total of 497 for 9.
"Those catches, they stick or they don't. So unfortunately it wasn't our way, it was Rohit's," Linde later told reporters. "He played well, so well done to him."
The 27-year-old conceded it was tough transitioning into Test cricket considering his surprise call-up to the national side.
"I didn't expect to play Test cricket. So when I got the call-up I was quite nervous but luckily I had a few days to just settle."
Despite the gruelling challenge in Ranchi, Linde claimed to be satisfied with figures of 4-133 against a champion batting line-up playing at home.
"Today a few lessons learnt, especially at the end. But I will take four wickets on a debut."
He provided some control with the ball on a pitch where fellow spinner Dane Piedt was often targetted by the batsmen.
The left-arm spinner took the prized scalp of centurion Ajinkya Rahane, putting an end to a mighty stand of 267 for the fourth wicket.
"Obviously consistency is very important (in India). We got it wrong on the leg side yesterday, today I was a lot better, bit more on the off-side," he said.
South Africa were reduced to nine for two before bad light prevented further play but Linde stressed his team would be eager to force their way back into the contest.