The Proteas collapsed to within two wickets of a 3-0 series whitewash at the hands of India on the third day of the final Test in Ranchi on Monday.
Resuming on a shaky 9-2 overnight, the tourists’ first innings slipped to a mere 162 all out in response to India’s hefty 497-9 declared, built on the back of opener Rohit Sharma’s superb double-century. The follow-on then capitulated to a precarious 132-8. South Africa, indeed, are still 203 runs shy of at least making India bat again.
Their day, too, was worsened by the absence of batsman Dean Elgar. Elgar was struck on the helmet by a sharp bouncer from fast bowler Umesh Yadav. The out-of-form Theunis de Bruyn, who was dropped for this match, promptly returned as a concussion replacement.
‘Dean is still being assessed and we are following the standard International Cricket Council concussion protocol. We will send an update as soon as there is one to send,’ read a brief statement from Cricket South Africa.
The visiting batsmen characteristically lacked substance across the day, with flimsy shot selection and questionable stroke play again a common theme.
The inexperienced Zubayr Hamza showed some fight with a steady half-century in the first innings, while debutant George Linde was satisfactorily defiant in both.
India’s bowling attack, spearheaded by Yadav and fellow right-armer Mohammed Shami’s pace and complemented by spin trio Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Shahbaz Nadeem, was excellent throughout.
Yadav was particularly impressive after being retained in the XI ahead of the more experienced Ishant Sharma. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was also substituted, less formally than De Bruyn for Elgar. After Saha’s hand injury the young Rishabh Pant was given the wicketkeeping gloves.
The home side enjoyed comfortable victories in the first Test in Visakhapatnam and second in Pune. This will likely be the first time they have whitewashed the Proteas in a three-Test series since 1992-93’s first meeting.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.
Photo: Gallo Images
You may also like