Coming off a thumping 141-run victory in the first match of the three-game series in Johannesburg, South Africa took an unassailable two-nil lead in tribute of the late Nelson Mandela over a visiting Indian team that showed yet again that it cannot handle conditions that favour quality pace bowling.
India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and sent South Africa in to bat first, but Proteas openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla took full advantage both making centuries in an opening stand of 194 before the home side finished its rain-reduced 49 overs on 6-280.
India's batsmen then simply had no idea against Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Morne Morkel, in particular, and were bowled out for a paltry 146 in just 35.1 overs in a relatively non-competitive performance.
The Indian batsmen had a field day in the recent series at home against Australia on wickets that more closely resembled roads that quality cricket pitches.
However, those same batsmen have now found pitches already in South Africa with plenty more bounce, seam movement and with overhead conditions conducive to some swing which Steyn, Tsotsobe and Morkel have used to make the Indian top-order look second-rate in the conditions.
The one-day series is now wrapped up for South Africa ahead of Game 3 at Centurion on Wednesday before the two-match Test series begins in Johannesburg on December 18.
Dhoni took the gamble that his bowlers might be able to make the most of the conditions at Kingsmead with the ball early when he decided to send the Proteas in to bat first, but it certainly didn’t eventuate.
De Kock and Amla, who combined for a 152-run stand in the first ODI as well with de Kock making 135 and Amla 65, looked at ease virtually from the outset combining for a 194-run stand from 211 deliveries.
De Kock was the first out for 106 from 118 deliveries with his knock including nine boundaries before he fell to Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.
India then had a good period with AB de Villiers out for three when stumped by Dhoni off Ravindra Jadeja, Amla gone for exactly 100 when also stumped off Mohammed Shami and then David Miller out lbw to Shami for a duck.
South Africa had lost 4-40 in a nine-over period but same late hitting from Ryan McLaren (12 from five) and Vernon Philander (14 from five) helped the home side finish on 6-280.
It had been a better effort from India's bowlers, though, with Shami the pick of them taking 3-48 from eight overs.
India had chased some mammoth totals to beat Australia at home, but that never looked likely of happening in Durban right from the outset.
It only took until the third over for South Africa to make its first breakthrough through Shikhar Dhawan was out for a two-ball duck caught by JP Duminy off Steyn.
India was 2-16 soon after with Virat Kohli caught behind by de Kock off Tsotsobe for a duck also before the visitors slumped to 3-29 with Rohit Sharma gone for 19 and then 4-34 with Ajinkya Rahane out for eight when caught behind off Morkel.
Dhoni and Suresh Raina somewhat steadied India with a 40-run stand for the fifth wicket before the skipper fell for 19 when also caught by wicket-keeper de Kock, this time off Philander.
Raina didn’t last much longer either falling for an innings best of 36 when Morkel had him out caught by Miller.
Spin pair Jadeja and Ashwin had no hope of ever getting close to South Africa's total, but did put on 38 for the seventh wicket before Ashwin was out caught behind off Steyn for 15.
Jadeja was then out two overs later for 26 thanks to a stunning catch from de Villiers on the boundary rope as he cleverly managed to leap, take the catch and land while avoiding the boundary.
India was then 8-145 before the last two wickets fell quickly with Shami bowled by Tsotsobe for eight and Steyn clean bowling Umesh Yadav with a beauty of a delivery for one.
South Africa's bowlers were outstanding, but were also helped by India's inability to handle a pitch with some bounce and seam movement.
Left-armer Tsotsobe claimed 4-25 from 7.1 overs with Steyn taking 3-17 from seven, Morkel 2-34 from six and Philander 1-20 from six.