Nagpur: An enviable nine-year overseas record of 10 Test series wins in 14 rubbers by South Africa is under serious threat by India when the two teams face-off in the third and penultimate game of the current series at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha here from tomorrow.
After the 0-2 reversal against Sri Lanka in 2006, South Africa have not lost a Test series away from home and the list includes two wins over mighty Australia in 2008-09 and 2012-13, other than victories in one rubber each over England (2008), West Indies 2010), New Zealand (2011-12), Pakistan (2007-08), Sri Lanka (2014), Bangladesh (2007-8) and Zimbabwe (2007-08).
Significantly in this period South Africa - who are trailing India by 0-1 with two Tests left in the current rubber - have not won in the latter's backyard on the two visits they had made prior to the ongoing one - in 2007-08 (Three-Test series) and 2009-10 (Two-game contest).
On both occasions, South Africa drew 1-1 with India. Their other drawn series encounters in the last nine years were against Pakistan (0-0) in the series played in the United Arab Emirates in 2010-11, against England in 2009-10 with the series drawn 1-1 and Bangladesh (0-0 draw in 2015).
In fact, South Africa had won only one Test rubber in five visits to India, in 1999-00 under Hansie Cronje before the match-fix saga blew up.
The Proteas lost in 1996-97 (1-2 in the three-Test series) and 2004-05 (0-1 in the two-Test encounter) before holding India to draws in 2007-08 and 2009-10.
If India surge to a win here on what promises to be a spin-aiding track, South Africa will be confined to their third series defeat in six Test rubbers on the Indian soil.