SA vs IND, 3rd Test, Review: Spirited India stage a turnaround to remain unbeaten at Wanderers

SA vs IND, 3rd Test, Review: Spirited India stage a turnaround to remain unbeaten at Wanderers

South Africa collapsed from 124/1 to 177/10.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar | CricTracker.com
Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India bowls. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India have defeated South Africa by 63 runs sensationally on the fourth day of the third and final Test match in Johannesburg. Amidst all the pitch fiasco on the previous day, the players from both the sides took the field in order to win the game for their countries. There were once again nervy moments but it was the collapse of the home side in the post-tea session which kept India’s unbeaten run intact at the Wanderers. However, South Africa won the series by 2-1 but failed to whitewash the world number 1 Test side.

The overnight unbeaten duo of Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla came out to bat amidst all the buzz of Indian Premier league auctions back in India. The visitors were favourites at the start of the day as batting in the fourth innings was never going to be easy. But the rain seemed to have surprisingly eased out the pitch as they batted without any discomfort. Even the ball didn’t misbehave as Indian pacers bowled their hearts out throughout the session.

Both Elgar and Amla weathered the new ball and accumulated the runs with utter ease. Meanwhile, they also completed their respective half-centuries. Just when things were looking bleak for India with the required runs for victory also closing in on 100, Ishant Sharma struck to dismiss Amla and break the heroic 119 run stand for the second wicket. The wicket gave the opening for the visitors as it wasn’t easy for the new batsmen to play on a tough pitch.

Shami wreaks havoc

AB de Villiers got a snorter of a delivery just before tea as he edged a bouncy delivery to Ajinkya Rahane at gully. His wicket made India believe that they were still in the game and Mohammed Shami wreaked havoc. Ishant Sharma castled Faf du Plessis with a superb incoming delivery after which Shami controlled the game totally. He continuously kept on disturbing the stumps of the tailenders which completed the stunning fightback after the debacle in the first couple of Tests.

Amidst all the happenings, Dean Elgar was exceptional and gutted it out in the middle to play a gritty knock of 86* off a whopping 240 deliveries. He was the reason they went off on the third day but Elgar came back and definitely won the hearts, everyone. But for the hosts, it was heartbreak again as they choked after being in the winning position. They were 124/1 at one stage and then capitulated to 177 mostly to some exceptional bowling from the spirited Indian side.

Four of the last eight South African bagged a duck and two of them were sent back to the hut for a golden duck. India never lost the belief in themselves and kept on hitting the right lengths to hunt in the pack. Shami picked a sensational five-wicket haul and ended with 5/28, the figures and the spell which will be remembered by every Indian fan for a long time. He was well supported by the other bowlers as India won the game by 63 runs to hit back one at the home side.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was deservedly awarded Man of the Match for his all-round performance in the Test match. He has once again proved his worth in the away games in whites and deserves to play consistently in the team without being dropped.

Brief Scores:

India 187 (V Kohli 54, C Pujara 50; K Rabada 3/39, A Phehlukwayo 2/25) & 247 (A Rahane 48, V Kohli 41, B Kumar 33; K Rabada 3/69, V Philander 3/61, M Morkel 3/47)

South Africa 194 (H Amla 61, V Philander 35; J Bumrah 5/54, B Kumar 3/44) & 177/1 (D Elgar 86*; M Shami 5/28)

Result: India won by 63 runs

Man of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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