- Published: Thursday, 18 January 2018 09:54
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In the Cape Town Test as well as in Centurion, India’s top-order failed to come to the party. While the Newlands pitch was seamer-friendly, the Centurion track was more like a subcontinent surface. None of India’s top five managed a fifty at Newlands, with Hardik Pandya’s 93 the best at No 7.
In Centurion, Virat Kohli scored a sublime 153 but the next best was 47 by Rohit Sharma in the second innings as India hurtled towards defeat. Opener Murali Vijay’s 46 in the first innings was the next best.
The top order batsmen’s misery was complete with none managing to stitch a fifty-plus stand in Cape Town, with 99 being the best for the eighth wicket. In Centurion, the third wicket stand of 79 between Kohli and Vijay was the best in the match for India.
Kohli highlighted one key factor in which South Africa dominated over India in the Centurion Test. “As a team, you want to win collectively. We tried but we weren’t good enough. South Africa were better than us, especially in the fielding department, and that’s why they are the winners.”
India’s catching left much to be desired in the Centurion Test. Murali Vijay dropped Dean Elgar off Jasprit Bumrah on 14 while Parthiv Patel dropped Hashim Amla on 30. While Elgar’s catch did not prove costly, Amla went on to make 82. On the other hand, South Africa hung on to their chances on the final day. Morne Morkel took a brilliant diving catch to his left at deep backward square leg to dismiss Parthiv Patel for 19 while AB de Villiers took a good catch at long leg to send back Rohit Sharma for 47.
With this loss, India’s overseas woes have continued as their quest to win a series in South Africa for the first time gets prolonged.
The final Test starts at the Wanderers, Johannesburg on January 24.
(Source: The Hindustan Times)