Booing and criticism upset Steyn: De Villiers
Having lost seven wickets, Steyn and his pace colleague Vernon Philander chose to play it safe as the hosts fell short by eight runs, chasing a world record 458 to win.
Both Steyn and Philander had to cope with criticism for not trying to win the match for their side.
"There were a lot of mixed emotions. It's difficult to handle those situations. Dale (Steyn) was really upset, he struggled to handle it. It really took Graeme (Smith) and a few guys to help him handle it immediately, because of the crowds, the booing and everyone criticising him and Vernon (Philander).
"They took a lot of strain and it was up to the team to pull through that but it was really tough," De Villiers told reporters.
De Villiers, who captains the One-day side, though reckoned that the Johannesburg Test was one of the best matches in the history of the game.
"I am always a guy that looks past the results and I feel really lucky to have been part of that. I gave it my best shot, so did Faf (du Plessis), so did the whole team and we just came short in winning a spectacular Test match but very blessed to have been part of the match. It will go down in the history books as one of the best Tests ever. That's how I felt," the prolific batsman said.
De Villiers said it was "difficult to explain" about the end result but eventually the game of cricket won.
"It's a very sensitive one.... We came so far and in that sense, we are all disappointed we didn't win the game. India will also be disappointed. I watched the highlights and I think Robin Jackman summed it up well when he said both teams would be disappointed but cricket probably won in the end. It was a great Test match and everyone should remember that. It's really tough to sum it up in the end.
It is make or break. You make a silly decision and you lose the Test match. I think a draw was a fair call."