IND vs RSA, 2nd Test, Day 4: The Indian team ran riot against South Africa and managed to clinch the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the second Test in Pune.
IND vs RSA: Innings Overview
India couldn’t have gotten a better start to their innings when Mayank Agarwal wowed and mesmerized everyone with yet another century. The 28-year-old became only the second Indian opener to get centuries in back-to-back test matches against South Africa since Virender Sehwag in 2010.
Rohit Sharma, who was the star of the show the last time got dismissed relatively early, but Virat Kohli entered the fray and took no time in showing his authority on the game. The Indian skipper was at his dominant best and reached yet another career-high when he scored 254, the highest he’s gotten in his career.
He was also ably supported by the other end by Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja who all got the fifties. His stand with Ajinkya Rahane was the highlight of the game as both the batsmen looked at ease.
Having posted a total of 601, the onus was now on the bowlers as the captain decided to declare the innings. Ashwin, Jadeja and Umesh Yadav were superb with their spells as they had no problems bundling out the South African innings for 275 despite some last-ditch heroics from Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj.
Kohli was yet again shrewd in his decision while asking South Africa to follow on. The Proteas batting unit has looked clumsy and out-of-sorts for a long time now and while it’s true that replacing the likes of De Villiers and Hashim Amla is no mean feat, the batsman should have given a better account of themselves.
South Africa couldn’t even make it to 200 runs in the second innings and were all dismissed at 189, thus handing India titanic innings and 137 run victory.
A long climb ahead of South Africa
India, with this latest win, became the country with the most number of consecutive Test series victories at home. South Africa is lying on the absolute another end of the spectrum having failed to win a single Test match this year. They conceded two Test matches to Sri Lanka at the beginning of the year before being dealt the retirement blows of Amla and Dale Steyn and the Proteas now find themselves in some mess having run into a chasm of inferiority and are a shadow of their former glorious selves.
Skipper Faf du Plessis did point out the gulf between the two sides when it came to experience and quality and there is a lot of truth to that. And while de Kock, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada and du Plessis himself did show some resistance trying to regain composure, it was neither consistent enough nor strong enough and that is where South Africa lost the tie.
What’s next for India?
On the other hand, Virat Kohli, speaking in the post-match conference promised that his Indian side wouldn’t take the feet off the gas and will go for a 3-0 whitewash.
“Looking at the larger picture of the Test championship, every game has value, whether it is at home or away, that is the format. So, we’re not going to take our foot off the gas in the third Test.”
“No one is going to relax at any stage, we are going to go for a result in the third Test and hopefully make it 3-0, that’s a guarantee,” he said.
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