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South Africa vs India, 2nd Test – 5 Talking Points

With the win, South Africa now have an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series.

South African National Cricket Team | CricTracker.com
South African team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team South Africa registered an emphatic 135 run win over the visiting Indian side in the Centurion Test. With the win, they now have an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series. The Proteas have managed to halt the marching 9 series winning streak of the Virat Kohli-led Indian side. Needless to concede, the visitors have none but themselves to blame for the defeat.

Nothing quite went right for the Indian side right from the toss. South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to bat first on a batting beauty. The top order set the tone for a massive total on the board. A couple of lapses in the coordination saw the middle-order crumble for the hosts. Despite all the jolts, they posted a total in excess of 300 on the board.

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Team India, in their response, relied heavily on their skipper Virat Kohli’s magnificent 153. They got very close to the South African total but fell short by 28 runs. In the second innings, Indians were off to a great start before AB de Villiers led the counter charge. Eventually, a target of 287 was set for India to win. Much to their disappointment, the batting let team India down yet again as they succumbed to their second defeat on the tour.

Here are the 5 Talking Points from the Centurion Test b/w South Africa & India:

1. Runouts, Ashwin bring India back after Proteas batsmen make merry

South Africa were off to a great start in the match. Openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram made merry on the batting belter. The duo added 85 runs for the first wicket before Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Elgar on 31. In walked Hashim Amla to join Markram at the crease. Both batsmen were unlucky to miss out on their respective centuries.

Ashwin accounted for the dismissal of Markram on 94. Meanwhile, Amla had none but himself to blame for his run out. In the final session of day 1, India also ran out Vernon Philander to claw back in to the game. However, skipper Faf du Plessis played a very handy knock of 63 runs to help South Africa post a sizeable, yet underpar, total of 335 in the first innings.

2. Virat Kohli stands tall amidst batting chaos

The Indian bowlers had done a commendable job by restricting the opposition to a score under 350-run mark. The onus was then on the Indian batsmen to score runs and get close to the South African total. Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli stitched a brief partnership after tje early dismissal of KL Rahul and a horrible run out of Cheteshwar Pujara.

Once the wicket of Vijay fell on 46, South Africa bounced back in to the game by picking up a flurry of wickets. R Ashwin provided some support to the skipper amidst all the brouhaha. Meanwhile, Kohli reached his milestone number and went on to score a magnificent 153. Team India fell 28 runs short of the Proteas total as they bundled out for 307.

3. AB de Villiers’ leads the counter-attack after Bumrah’s jolts

Team India knew that if they had to make a comeback in to the game, they had to restrict South Africa to as low a total as possible. Jasprit Bumrah provided the ideal start for the visitors as he trapped Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla lbw in the initial overs of the second innings.

It was the familiar old face of AB de Villiers that proved to be the thorn in the flesh for the Indians. AB and Dean Elgar added 141 runs for the third wicket to have the visitors reeling by the end of the third day’s play.

A spirited comeback from Mohammad Shami on the penultimate day saw Elgar and ABD get dismissed on 61 and 80 respectively. Faf du Plessis also chipped in with a crucial 48. While the Indians managed to take wickets at regular intervals after that, they failed to contain the run flow. South Africa bundled out for 258 in their second innings, thereby setting a target of 287 for India to win.

4. Fortunes stay the same for Indian batsmen

The target of 287 was never going to be easy but given the big names in the Indian lineup, South Africa knew they had to bowl well on the day. They took three wickets in the final session of day 4, including the big fish Virat Kohli. As many reckoned, the series was gone as soon as Kohli departed. It was only a matter of ‘when’ on the final day as the Indian batsmen resumed their innings.

Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami gave brief moments of joy for the Indian fans but it was a little too less on the day. The Indian batsmen surrendered meekly to the bounce of the Proteas bowlers, combined with the track behaving in mysterious ways.

5. Lungi Ngidi bowls India out of the series

Lungisani Ngidi had a dream debut in the match. It was Ngidi who had the Indian team caught off-guard in the match. Ngidi, who was not even a part of the South African squad at the start of the series, scalped a six-wicket haul in the second innings. He picked up the key wicket of Virat Kohli on the fourth day to set the tone for the Proteas win.

On the final day, the Indian batsmen had no answer to the questions he probed with the ball. He finished with figures of 6/39 in his spell. Earlier in the game, he had taken one wicket in the first innings of the match.

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