India captured a world record 11th home series win a row with the hosts dismantling South Africa by a whopping margin of an innings and 137 runs in the second Test at Pune.
Having enforced the follow-on ahead of the fourth day’s play, India’s bowlers bundled out the visitors for just 189 runs in their second innings to clinch an unassailable 2-0 lead for the hosts in the three-match series.
After what was another emphatic win for Virat Kohli and his men, we take a look at the key talking points from the Pune Test.
Kohli’s India pip Aussies with record win
With India’s 11th straight home Test series victory, Kohli’s men have pipped Australia’s record which stood at 10 wins on the bounce. The Aussies had attained the feat twice with the first streak coming between 1994 and 2001 while the second record run came between 2004 and 2008 under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting.
India’s record run, ironically, started against Australia itself with the hosts running away with a 4-0 win in the Border Gavaskar series held at home in February, 2013.
It was under the captaincy of MS Dhoni that India’s still ongoing run started with Kohli taking charge of the team in the third series against South Africa in 2015-16. Australia, South Africa and West Indies have been beaten twice apiece in India’s record run while the other series victories have come against England, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
Kohli himself has now won 30 of the 50 Tests he has captained in total and that staggering win-rate is only behind Australia’s iconic skippers Steve Waugh and Ponting.
India’s pace supremacy the decisive factor
While India’s spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja predictably asserted their dominance over their South Africa counterparts with 10 wickets between them in the Test, it was the display of the home team pacers that deserves a special mention.
Together, the India pace trio picked up the 10 other Proteas wickets to fall with Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami accounting for nine of them. In comparison, only Kagiso Rabada was able to get among the wickets for South Africa with the young pace spearhead picking up three wickets in India’s only innings.
India’s pacers out-bowling their Proteas counterparts has not been a very common sight historically but the trend was also observed in the first Test at Vizag where Shami alone picked up a five-wicket haul in the second innings. South Africa’s pacers, on the other hand, were able to muster just the three wickets between them across the whole Test.
Visiting teams have traditionally prepared for an onslaught of spin when touring India but they will now also need to be wary of their pace prowess which keeps getting better with each passing series.
Markram’s pair highlights South Africa’s woes
Aiden Markram in Asia:— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 13, 2019
94 - runs.
8 - Innings.
11.75 - Average.
39 - Highest Score.
Keshav Maharaj in the 2nd test:
94 - Runs.
2 - Innings.
47 - Average.
72 - Highest Score.
But South Africa decided to replace Maharaj instead Markram! #BoycottSaffers
A 109-run stand between Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander in the South African first innings had put their top-order to shame but the lessons weren’t learned for the visitors in their second go as well.
The Proteas top-order wilted without any fight for the third time in a row in the series with the visitors losing their first five wickets for just 79 runs. Opener Aiden Markram’s horror tour continued with the right-hander falling for a duck for the second time in a match to bag a silver pair.
Only Dean Elgar (48), and to some extent Temba Bavuma (38), showed any gumption for a fight while the rest of the top-order were all dismissed for single-digit scores. Once again, it was left to Maharaj and Philander to show the way with the two lower-order batsmen putting on a gritty 56-run stand for the eighth wicket between them.
Bar the first innings of the Vizag Test where both Elgar and Quinton de Kock registered tons, South Africa’s main batsmen have fallen flat on their faces in the ongoing tour. They can lament the failure of their bowling attack all they want, but it is the batsmen who need to take a long and hard look at themselves.
The mammoth margin of defeat is now the worst they have suffered at the hands of India in a Test match with the previous record loss standing at an innings and 57 runs in the 2009 Eden Gardens clash.
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