India Rout South Africa in Freedom Series For 11th Straight Home Win
South Africa put up a brave fight in the first test of the Freedom Series and took the fight into the fifth and final day. The Indians were expecting the Proteas to continue to show the same fighting spirit in the second and final test of the India-South Africa Freedom Series in Pune.
However, the second test turned out to be pretty much a one-sided affair. The South Africans folded rather quickly in the first innings, except for the tail, who showed some tenacity. India decided to impose the follow on and made quick work of the Proteas in the second innings to win with a day to spare.
South Africa Beaten With Huge First Innings Total
South African captain Faf du Plessis needed to win the toss in Pune of the India-South Africa Freedom Series. However, it wasn’t to be. India not only won the toss and elected to bat, but they made the South Africans work hard for their wickets. Mayank Agarwal continued his good form from the first cricket test and formed a century run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara (58).
Agarwal made 108. He also proved to the selectors that he can be a permanent solution to India’s search for reliable opening batsmen. While Agarwal’s century was good, captain Virat Kohli stole the show and stamped his authority on the game by scoring his seventh double century in test cricket.
His first hundred runs, Kohli played rather cautiously and dispatched the bad balls to the boundary. Once he got to his hundred, he played a lot more freely. Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja, who batted at number 6, dismantled the South African bowlers and dispatched them to the boundary at all.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 254, hitting 33 boundaries and 2 sixes at a strike rate of 75.59. India scored 601 for the loss of just 5 wickets and declared. This put South Africa under pressure after spending nearly two days in the field.
U Yadav And Ashwin Amongst The Wickets
India decided to play the extra fast bowler like South Africa. They decided to drop Hanuma Vihari and bring in Umesh Yadav. It turned out to be a great selection. Yadav got both the openers in the first innings and South Africa was immediately under pressure. He went on to take the wicket of Theunis de Bruyn to finish with 3 in the first innings.
Mohammed Shami continued his good bowling form and picked up 2 wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin bowled really well in the first innings. He finished with 4 wickets to bowl South Africa out for just 275.
The Proteas would have been in a lot more trouble. However, they got some lower order resistance from Vernon Philander (44) and Keshav Maharaj (72).
India decided to enforce the follow on, given the fact that they had five front line bowlers. Also, this was the last test in the series. The three fast bowlers once again delivered for Kohli as U Yadav picked up another 3 wickets in the second. Meanhwhile, Shami and Ishant Sharma took 1 each.
Jadeja picked up 3 crucial wickets and Ashwin took 2 wickets to wrap up the South African second innings late into the fourth day. Dean Elgar (48) was the highest scorer for the Proteas in the second innings. However, none of the other key batsmen offered much resistance.
India have continued their good run in test cricket by winning their eleventh consecutive home test series. Their third and final test against South Africa starts on October 19 in Ranchi and India, who will probably be favoured by the bookmakers, will be confident of winning and finishing with another series whitewash!