Outclassed in all departments of the game by South Africa, India lose the first ODI by 141 runs at the Wanderers on Thursday.
Chasing a mammoth 359 to win, India was bowled out for 217 with nine overs to spare.
India were at one time precariously placed at 109 for five after 23 overs with Shikhar Dhawan (12), Rohit Sharma (18), Virat Kohli (31), Yuvraj Singh (0) and Suresh Raina (14) back in the pavilion. The chase was difficult from the start on a strip that had both pace and bounce.
Once Dhoni departed for a well-made 65, it was all over for India. The skipper's fighting knock came off 71 balls and included 8 boundaries and one straight six off McLaren.
For South Africa, Ryan McLaren struck twin blows removing both Kohli and an out-of-form Yuvraj in a space of three deliveries while Morne Morkel removed Dhawan.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock, 12 days short of his 21st birthday, hit a thrilling century to lead a South African run feast in the first one-day international against India at the Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.
The left-handed De Kock hit 135 off 121 balls in a South African total of 358 for four after the hosts were sent in to bat. It was the South African wicketkeeper's second century in his 14th one-day international and he combined power with finesse as he hit 18 fours and three sixes.
De Kock and Hashim Amla (65) shared a first wicket partnership of 152 which laid the foundation for some brutal hitting by De Kock, captain AB de Villiers and JP Duminy in the closing overs.
De Villiers slammed 77 off 47 balls with six fours and four sixes. He and De Kock added 75 off 55 balls for the third wicket but that was made to look pedestrian as De Villiers and Duminy thrashed 105 off 46 deliveries for the fourth wicket before De Villiers was bowled, going for another big shot, in the final over.
The Proteas launched a furious assault on the Indian attack as 135 runs were scored of the last 10 overs of the innings.
Duminy was unbeaten on 59, made off 29 balls with two fours and five sixes.
With both openers well set, South Africa opted to take the batting power play early, in the 30th over. But Amla fell to the third ball of the field restrictions, chopping a ball from Mohammed Shami into his stumps. Jacques Kallis also fell to Shami in the power play after making 10 but there were few moments of cheer for India after that.
The Indians lost control from the start of the final 10 overs as Ravindra Jadeja (0/58 in 8 overs) leaked 17 runs.
The inexperience of new ball bowlers Mohit Sharma (0/82 in 10 overs) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/68 in 9 overs) was evident as the South African batsmen played them with consummate ease.
Shami was the most successful Indian bowler, taking three for 68.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bowl first didn't work as per plan as two young swing bowlers struggled to adapt to the nippy, windy conditions and find the right line or length, as Amla and de Kock sped away from the blocks.
There was a flurry of boundaries from their bats as the duo hit seven fours and one six in the first nine overs. That one six was hit by Amla off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a huge hit into the electronic score-board and at the end of the ninth over, the two batsmen had put on 53 runs at an encouraging run-rate of 5.88.
Kumar particularly was struggling with his control, conceding 29 runs in his first five overs. Mohit bowled his first six overs for 28 runs, and he was unlucky not to account for both batsmen. In the seventh over of the innings, de Kock sliced him straight down to third man when Shami was adjudged to have grounded the ball. The very next ball, a top-edge from Amla did not carry to Rohit Sharma at cover.