South Africa coach Rob Walter insisted they could "turn the tables" if they meet India again in the World Cup despite a colossal 243-run defeat by the unbeaten hosts.
The Proteas are second in the standings of the 10-team event and, like leaders India, were already into the semi-finals before Sunday's pool game in Kolkata.
But they were, in Walter's words, "out-skilled" by a "hell of a team", India star Virat Kohli equalling Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 one-day international hundreds with 101 not out in an imposing total of 326-5 on an awkward surface at Eden Gardens.
As if that was not bad enough, South Africa were then dismissed for just 83 by a powerful India attack that only days earlier had skittled out Sri Lanka for an even more meagre 55.
It was South Africa's second-lowest ODI total and lowest in a World Cup.
Lower-order batsman Marco Jansen top-scored with 14 as left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took 5-33.
South Africa could yet face India, who've now won all eight of their pool games so far, again in a semi-final or even the November 19 final in Ahmedabad.
Walter, however, was adamant the Proteas would benefit from this experience rather than be scarred by a colossal defeat.
"This game is a funny game and you get taught new lessons every single day and get surprised every single day," South Africa white-ball coach Walter told reporters.
"So, it wouldn't surprise me if the tables turned the next time around.
"The beauty of it is there may well be another shot for us and we've been given an opportunity to learn from that," he added.
Jansen had a chastening match in his primary role of new-ball bowler.
The towering left-arm quick conceded 17 runs in his first over, with the 23-year-old finishing with costly figures of 1-94 in 9.4 overs.
"They (India) are a hell of a team. And very well balanced and highly skilled...They've won every game and they've won them well," said the 48-year-old Walter.
But he added: "You have to believe that on a day if you execute your skills, you've also got a chance and we just didn't right from the word go.
"We know already what Marco Jansen can do with a new ball, today was an off day, the guy's a young guy playing in a World Cup, he's played seven excellent games to point and didn't have a great start today.
"But he could just as easily bowl very well the next time we find ourselves against them (India)."