The Indian womens' hockey team lost their opening match of the four-Test series against hosts South Africa 2-1 at the Stellenbosch hockey stadium, near Cape Town on Tuesday.
South Africa took the lead in the 11th minute with a goal by mid-fielder Lenise Marais.
India drew level in the 21st minute when Deepika scored from a melee in the penalty area.
The South Africans scored the winner in the final stages of the game through captain Marsha Marescia.
The second Test will be played on Wednesday night at the same venue.
The third and fourth Tests will be played on Friday and Saturday.