South Africa, which is going through one of its toughest transition phases, on Friday registered an empathic seven-wicket win at Newlands, Cape Town to win the three-match Test series against India 2-1. South Africa chased down a 212-run target set by India.
India won the first Test in Centurion by 113 runs but South Africa bounced back in the second Test in Johannesburg as they handed India a crushing seven-wicket defeat to level the series.
Now with this win on Friday, Dean Elgar’s young side kept their record against India at home intact. India have never won a Test series in South Africa.
South Africa bowled out India in the second innings for 198 runs, with Pant scoring a hundred and Kohli 29.
The target of 212 wasn’t a tough ask and starting the day at 101 for two, young pretender Petersen (82, 113 balls) along with Rassie van Der Dussen (41 not out) added 54 runs for the third wicket to seal the match before Temba Bavuma (32 not out) helped in putting the final touches.
“Nightmare for India”
Sunil Gavaskar termed it as a “Nightmare for India” as they were not even close to competing in the last two Tests and Dean Elgar’s ear to ear grin and the bear hugs that he shared with his teammates said it all.
It was especially sweet for the hosts who lost premier pacer Anrich Nortje to injury before the series and were then hit by Quinton de Kock’s sudden mid-series retirement.
The Indian team, meanwhile, lost it in their mind after the contentious DRS review of Elgar that went wrong on Thursday and their focus on using stump microphone more to take digs at broadcaster Supersport instead of focussing on getting Petersen out spelt their doom.
With this series defeat, India’s record of never having won a Test series in the Rainbow Nation for three decades, remained intact.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the only India captain to have managed a drawn series back in 2010.