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The third and final Test match at Ranchi turned out to be yet another torment for the visitors who again lost by an innings. With this win, India successfully managed to series whitewash South Africa by 3-0. Faf du Plessis tried changing his luck with the toss by bringing in Temba Bavuma to make the call. However, skipper Virat Kohli continued his winning streak with the toss winning three-in-three. The move later drew criticism from former South African captain Graeme Smith.

Two Mumbaikars channelling their inner potential in the middle

Rohit Sharma, in spite of the twin tons at Vizag had some unfinished business. There couldn’t have been a better opportunity for the opener to prove himself as India were in despair. Kagiso Rabada was in the midst of a fiery spell in the first morning as India had been reduced to 39/3. The likes of Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli had all fallen to the right arm pacer who was absolutely sensational with the new ball. Rohit with all his experience had evolved as a batsman and managed to extend his stay at the crease. He was even adjudged LBW but the DRS came to his rescue.

As soon as Rabada got done with his spell, he alongside Ajinkya Rahane tried to recover India from the early slump. Both didn’t lose their wicket till lunch before going all bonkers in the second session. A partnership of 267 runs between them for the fourth wicket. Rahane who batted with great composure and absorbed the pressure nicely reached his eleventh Test hundred. However, the star of the Indian innings was Rohit who sizzled with a brilliant double century. He brought up both his hundred and 200 with maximums, displaying his destructiveness in front of the Ranchi crowd.

Ravindra Jadeja registered another fifty as India reached the 450 mark. With the tail exposed, Umesh Yadav took the onus off pinch hitting the Proteas bowlers. The lanky pacer displayed his hard hitting prowess with five sixes. India ended up declaring for the fourth consecutive time at 497/9. George Linde who was brought in for the injured Keshav Maharaj picked a four wicket haul while Dane Piedt and Anrich Nortje too got a wicket each.

Indian pacers continue their ferociousness with the ball

Mohammad Shami began things in style as he accounted for Dean Elgar in the second ball itself. Umesh Yadav also bowled a fiery spell from the other end. South Africa were reduced to 16/3 before a youngster managed to grab many eyeballs amidst all the chaos. Zubayr Hamza stood out with a splendid half century as he seemed to be the only batsman throughout the innings that didn’t find any difficulty against the ferocious Indian bowling.

series whitewash india unbumf

George Linde managed to put some runs but there was no other contribution from the lower order as the South Africans were bowled out for 162. Adding to the embarrassment, India asked them to follow on for the second consecutive time. One may have expected a much better performance or probably an improvement in the second innings but they went one notch lower. The pacer duo again unleashed their fiery side as South Africa lost early wickets.

The visitors were reduced to 22/4 with Shami picking three scalps. Further adding to their misery, Dean Elgar went off the field after being struck by a Yadav bouncer. Theunis de Bruyn who came in as a concussion substitute batted well but the battle was already lost as the Indian bowlers kept taking wickets at regular intervals. The match went down till Day 4 with just two overs required to get the remaining wickets. Debutant Shahbaz Nadeem pinned the final two nails in the coffin as India registered a phenomenal victory by an innings and 202 runs.

Takeaways from the series

Leaving the first session of Day One, there wasn’t a single moment in the match where South Africa presented any kind of threat to the home side. The whole series turned out to be a disappointing venture for the Proteas. The failure of the top order, the pacers sans Rabada failing to capitalize, no potential threat from the spin department and also spilling a few chances which cost them dearly. Skipper Faf lost the toss every time but their performance suggested that even winning the toss wouldn’t have brought a change in their fortunes.

series whitewash SA India unbumf

India dominated the Test series like a proper champion side. Right from Rohit Sharma’s double century to Ajinkya Rahane’s hundred, the No.1 ranked test side displayed their prominence. The bowling department, especially the pacers shined with the red cherry as they continued to inflict trouble to the opposition batsmen. Every time India required someone to step up in the series, they stood out and exceeded expectations. A prime example of that was Shahbaz Nadeem who came as a cover for Kuldeep Yadav and picked four wickets throughout the Test match.

Undoubtedly, India had totally outplayed South Africa in all three departments. The whitewash not only signifies their prowess at home but also how they have established their supremacy in red ball cricket. Currently, India leads the World Test Championship with 240 points in their tally. No other team stands close to them and with the Bangladesh series approaching next month, the lead is expected to further go up.


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