Virat Kohli & Co register comprehensive victory at Ranchi as India complete maiden whitewash against South Africa
Virat Kohli and his marauding bunch completed their dominance and brought a rather quick end to South Africa’s misery by wrapping up the third and final Test in just over three days. It took India only 12 balls on Day 4 to wrap up the series and walk home with a clean sweep. Team India bulldozed the Proteas on their way to an innings and 202 runs victory over Faf du Plessis’ hapless unit in Ranchi. With this victory, Kohli and his team completed a 3-0 clean sweep, India’s first ever against South Africa in a bilateral Test series.
South Africa resumed their first innings at 9/2 on the third day, chasing India’s mammoth first innings total of 497/9 declared. Hamza Zubayr (62) and Temba Bavuma (32) put up some fight but the Indian bowlers were on top throughout. George Linde (37) too tried to delay the inevitable but it wasn’t to be. Umesh Yadav finished as India’s best bowler with figures of 3/40 while debutant Shahbaz Nadeem picked up two wickets, including the last one to fall as South Africa were bowled out for 162 in the first innings.
The duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were on the money yet again as the South African top order failed to get going yet again. Yadav cleaned up Quinton de Kock, while Shami produced a frightening spell of seam bowling to send back Hamza, Du Plessis and Bavuma in ashort span of time.
Opener Dean Elgar was waging a lone battle but he too fell by the wayside after getting hit on the head by an Umesh Yadav delivery. Elgar retired hurt for 16 and the Proteas were allowed a concussion substitute. Nadeem was in the thick of things again as he ran out George Linde for 27 with a direct hit.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin made short work of the remaining batsmen as Kohli went in for the kill by requesting an extension of play with South Africa 8 wickets down.
“If you have pace and bounce, you can be successful at home. Earlier they said as fast bowlers, you’ve to just be ready for reverse swing after the new ball’s shine is done, to allow spinners to come in. But with Shami, Jasprit and I, we plan and we know how we have to go about bowling. All of us have pace. I’m happy to see our fast bowlers are doing what overseas pacers are doing. It gives us wings,” Umesh said before the day’s play.
“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 very proud of. Even when we travelled away from home, we wanted to compete. Getting into the right kind of mindset is something these guys have worked really hard to get into. Looking at the way these guys run into bowl, or even in the field, you can see that mindset. To be the best side in the world, you have to be multi-dimensional. Spin was always our strength, batting was never a problem for us. Ishant was the only experienced bowler for us. We said we can play an extra bowler, and as batsmen we said we’ll get the job done. We’ve got runs in every Test match, our catching has been good too. (Goal) As I said, even without much experience, we travelled very well. We believe we can win anywhere. As long as we keep working with honest intent, those things will follow. We’ve wanted to be the best team in Test cricket, and as long as we compete, things will work out well for us,” Indian captain Virat Kohli said after the match.