Graeme Smith was left disappointed after South Africa failed to secure victory in the decisive third Test against India that ended in a draw at Newlands yesterday.
Instead the hosts managed just three wickets in Cape Town after stubborn resistance from Gautam Gambhir (64 from 184 balls), Rahul Dravid (31 from 112) and unbeaten Sachin Tendulkar (14 from 91) helped the tourists secure a first shared series in a country where they lost all four previous visits.
Chasing an unlikely 340 for victory, the world No 1 side were on 166-3 when Smith decided to give in.
The Proteas captain rued the fact that his side lacked that little bit extra to roll over the Indians in what he described as a "terrific series".
He said. "I think every day and every session was really competitive. Our last three series against India, two over there and one here, have all been one-all, so I think the teams are very even and that shows in how competitive the cricket is.
"As a team we managed to compete really well with the best team in the world.
"We just didn't have enough to close it off (yesterday), unfortunately, but I think if we can just build on the blocks that we've had in place then we can look to take ourselves forward nicely."
Smith also hailed man of the match Jacques Kallis for his efforts on day four of the match that had put the hosts in a strong position.
The veteran all-rounder battled through a side strain to hit an unbeaten 109 to follow on from his first innings 161.
It gave him an aggregate 498 runs for the three games and man-of-the-series title as well.
Kallis recalled his fourth hundred in five games as one of the best in his 145-match career, saying: "Given the situation of the game, the second-innings hundred is up there with the best.
"I'm probably playing as well as I've ever played. Hopefully there's a lot more runs to come in the years ahead."
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was pleased with the way his side fought back in the second and third games.
After being humbled by an innings and 25 runs in the first Test at Centurion, they sealed an 87-run win in Durban, a result that proved crucial.
Looking back at the overall performance of his team over the three games, Dhoni commented: "We would have liked to start well in the series.
"There were plenty of positives with the way the fast bowlers came back.
"Overall, of course, I am proud of this team. I've always said that we have a tremendous side, who take pride in performing for India."