India vs South Africa, 2019: 2nd Test - Who Said What

"You have to be on top of your game if you aren't then you are found wanting," Du Plessis said.

Team India
Team India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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India have registered their 11th consecutive Test series win at home to create a world record. They thumped South Africa in the second Test played in Pune by an innings and 137 runs to pocket the series with one game still to go. As far as the Test Championship is concerned, the Virat Kohli-led side has strengthened its hold at the top with 200 points to its name and are yet to lose a game so far.

As far as the match is concerned, India enforced the follow-on on South Africa on the fourth morning having skittled them for 275 on Saturday. The visitors were 326 runs behind and needed a solid effort to make India bat again or even think of drawing the match. But yet again, they got off to the worst possible start. Aiden Markram bagged a pair as Ishant Sharma was dismissed him in the very first over.

Theunis de Bruyn’s horror tour continued as he was strangled down the leg-side. It was only due to Wriddhiman Saha’s brilliance behind the wickets that India got his wicket. Dean Elgar then took the attack to the hosts and stitched a decent partnership along with the skipper Faf du Plessis. But the latter went into the shell and was sent back by Ravi Ashwin.

This led to a mini-collapse with Elgar and Quinton de Kock also following their captain to the dressing room. At 79/5, South Africa looked down and out.

Another Maharaj-Philander stand frustrates India

Senuran Muthusamy and Temba Bavuma then fought for some time. But Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj’s partnership frustrated India again. The duo delayed the inevitable for close to 22 overs once again. They added 56 runs for the eighth-wicket partnership.

Umesh Yadav broke the stand soon after the final session of the day began and it ended very quickly for South Africa. They were bundled out for 189 in the 68th over of the innings. Umesh and Ravindra Jadeja picked three wickets each while the other three specialist bowlers also added scalps to their tally.

Man of the Match and India captain, Virat Kohli said:

It’s about getting the responsibility back of being a captain (on scoring the double-hundred). The mindset is always to help the team and in that process, the big scores come. I think the moment you start thinking about the team, all the pressure goes away.

I am at that stage of my career where I am happy to play for my team. Putting the team in a commanding position is the only goal. It’s been a natural progress to have a calm mindset over the years. I have a good understanding at that and hence the muted celebration.

You have to look forward to playing against the new ball. I enjoy batting with Jinks (Rahane), we run well between the wickets. We are the most successful Indian pair. Having him at the other end keeps you focused.

The good thing is when we started, we were at number 7. The only way was up. We are all lucky to have this group of players. It’s amazing to see that hunger for all the guys to keep improving.

Saha was back to his best. Ashwin has stepped up beautifully and it’s guys willing to work hard. It’s been nice and looking at the larger picture – the Test Championship, every game has a value. No-one’s going to relax from here.

South Africa captain, Faf du Plessis said:

We know in the sub-continent, first innings is really important. You have to be on top of your game, if you aren’t then you are found wanting. All the questions we threw at him (Virat Kohli), he had the answers.

(On team selection) It was a right selection for this pitch; I thought it was the right-decision making. KG managed to build some pressure but we needed another bowler, who could do that job. It was a young fast bowler making his (about Nortje) debut, it’s about learning and improving.

Ngidi is fine and is working hard on his fitness. It’s about getting his tank up and hopefully, we’ll see if he plays the next Test. We will try to put up a better performance in the next Test.