India vs South Africa 3rd Test: India had no qualms demolishing South Africa as they ran to an innings and 202 runs victory on the 4th day of the Test in Ranchi to complete the 3-0 whitewash in the series. At the end of the day, the victory proved to be easy as the case with the other two wins against South Africa and India are now comfortably at the top of the World Test Championship having bagged another 120 points and on a consecutive winning streak this year. India now has 240 points in 5 tests and there is no nearby competition whatsoever in that regard. New Zealand and Sri Lanka are second on the list with 60 points each which just goes to show how dominant this Indian side has been.
A plethora of records were re-written as this was India’s first clean sweep against the Proteas. The series was Virat Kohli’s 11th win as captain and India’s 11th successive series win on Indian soil.
India vs South Africa 3rd Test – Opening Lineup
This series will be looked back at as Rohit Sharma’s coming-of-age as an opener in red-ball cricket. Sharma got 529 runs in the bag which included two double centuries and a ton and was rightfully awarded the accolade of Man of the Series. Rohit was simply unplayable and he scored 212 runs in Ranchi with his innings including 28 fours and 6 sixes.
If Rohit was the highlight of the series, then Mayank Agarwal was the revelation for the Indian side. This was the series for him to impress selectors and management and impress he did. Having scored a double century and a ton, Agarwal consolidated his place in the opening position for the side with some wonderful stroke-playing and innings building.
Variety of bowling options for the skipper
Indian test sides have always been known for having an affinity for spinners especially here at home conditions where they can get the best out of their players who can turn the ball. However, under Kohli’s leadership, the ship has headed a different way and fast bowlers have also joined in on the party. India’s pace attack against South Africa was fierily led by the excellent Mohammad Shami who picked up 13 scalps and the absence of Jaspirt Bumrah wasn’t even felt.
In this series, the quickies and the spinners shared almost the same number of wickets which has been a rare occurrence in Indian Test Cricket. Ravindra Jadeja (13 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (15 wickets) bagged 28 victims while the seam trio of Shami, Ishant Sharma (2 in 2 Tests) and Umesh Yadav (11 in two Tests) got 26 wickets in the bag.
This will be especially reassuring for Virat Kohli and co who can now turn to any option for wicket-taking spells.
The road ahead for India
The team was lauded and showered with praises after the series and given the impact of their performances and victory margins- winning the first Test in Vizag by 203 runs, the second Test in Pune by an innings and 137 runs and finally the cherry on the cake, the innings, and 202 run victory could well indicate a glorious epoch in Indian Test Cricket history.
Their rejuvenated pace attack scared Proteas batsmen and India managed to perform on pitches that did not offer much or get a lot of say in their performances.
“They were ruthless, they were better than us in every department- spun bowling, fast bowling, batting, and even the fielding. They are a difficult team to overcome,” Faf du Plessis had nothing but respect for the opponents that trumped his side so brutally.
It was all smiles for Virat who was proud of his team and the effort the boys put in. “You guys have seen how we’re playing. Making things happen on pitches that don’t seem to offer too much, is something we’re proud of.”
India will next play hosts to Bangladesh.
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