India were always going to wrap it up early on the fourth morning in Ranchi. It took only 12 deliveries for them to bundle South Africa out. Shahbaz Nadeem picked both the remaining wickets as the visitors could muster only 133 runs in their second innings. The hosts won the match by an innings and 202 runs and also inflicted the first-ever whitewash on South Africa in Tests.
South Africa ended Day three on 132/8 with Theunis de Bruyn, the concussion substitute, and Anrich Nortje in the middle. The defeat was inevitable for the Proteas and it was only a matter of time when they were going to get bowled out. Rather the umpires tried every possibility to finish the game on Monday itself but the two unbeaten held themselves and survived before the light faded away quickly.
However, they couldn’t do so much on the fourth morning. Mohammed Shami started the proceedings and conceded only a single that too in the form of a leg bye. Nortje managed to play out the over then which brought De Bruyn on strike to face Shahbaz Nadeem.
India wrap it up in the second over of the day
The left-arm spinner first snaffled the set batsman off a delivery which stayed low. De Bruyn went on the back foot to cut the ball but only inside-edged it to the keeper. Wriddhiman Saha took a sharp low catch to send him packing for 30. Lungi Ngidi then came out only to get dismissed in a very unique fashion. He smashed his first ball but the non-striker Nortje came in the way.
The ball hit his shoulder and lobbed up to Nadeem who was aware on the occasion. He took the catch to put an end to South Africa‘s miseries finally on this tour. India won the match by a huge margin and also won the series by 3-0 as they added 40 more points to their kitty in the Test Championship.
India captain, Virat Kohli said:
Amazing, as you guys have spoken about everything, you guys have seen from the outside, the way we’ve been playing and the way we have come off as a side. Making things happen on pitches that don’t offer much.
Really proud of the whole team to be honest. Even we travelled away from home, we competed in every game, we wanted to win and do the difficult things. It all starts from the mind. It’s amazing to see the mindset of the team, it’s been a brilliant series for us. To be the best side in the world, you need to multi-dimensional. All facets of your team have to fire.
Spin was always a strength, batting was never a problem for us. Fast bowling was very good and than young bowlers came in. Ishant was the only experienced bowler in the lot. The fielders started working hard as well. The catching has been brilliant as well. It’s great to see when you operate in such way.
Even not with not much experience, we believe we can win anywhere in the world at the world. We can win anywhere, England, Australia, South Africa, good things are going to follow. I agree with him (Ravi Shastri). The game responds to hard work and mindset. We have been doing well in the limited formats too.
Man of the Match and Man of the Series, Rohit Sharma said:
I said it before as well, thankful to the management for the opportunity. Considering how the series has gone by, I can take a lot of positives, especially how to counter that new ball. The new ball will be a threat anywhere in the world.
It’s been a great start, so I don’t want to let it go. That started long back in 2013, when I started opening for India in white ball cricket. I realised you need to have discipline at the start of the innings. Once you are in, you can play your game. That’s what I have done, I follow a certain template that allows me to have some success.
You need support from the management, coach, captain, that has helped a lot. Test cricket is a different ball game, getting that big score will give me confidence moving forward. I was trying to be mindful about that. You need to be disciplined, I kept talking to myself. I wanted to make a big score and get my team into good positions.
South Africa captain, Faf du Plessis said:
(On losing the way after Vizag 1st innings) That’s the frustrating part of the tour. Starting the first innings at Vizag, there were good signs for us. But we went the other way and kept making more mistakes as the series went on.
You got to give credit to the Indian team. This is a really tough Indian team under Virat. Be it in the batting, bowling or even fielding, we were dominated across the series. We spoke about this (India’s spin threat) before the series. The mindset coming here, especially after 2015, was to be prepared for the spin attack. But the pitches were fantastic.
India’s seamers were outstanding through the series. Our seamers were good for 30-40 minutes but their’s were able to do that throughout the day. I think it’s the nature of the skill of the bowler. If you look at those who succeeded this series, it’s their skiddy nature that’s key but they’re also in the right areas most of the time.
In SA, the natural length is shorter and you need to make that adjustment here. That’s what you need to do in international cricket. We have young guys coming through and in the coming 3-4 years, they will get experienced.
Been a really tough series for us but we need to ensure that when we tour again, we are better equipped. This is the toughest place to tour, the statistics say that. They’ve won, 11 or 12 series in a row? So, it’s been a very tough place to tour and it should only get better for us from here.
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