India defeated South Africa in the fourth and final Test of the Paytm Freedom Series by a huge margin of 337 runs and bagged the series 3-0. This Test match, for a change, saw few batsmen dominate a number of sessions on a pitch, which was offering assistance to the bowlers in the form of spin and uneven bounce.
Moreover, this was the only Test of the entire series which went to the 5th day, as both the previous resulted Tests ended in three days. It also witnessed some entertaining performances from a string of players, from both the teams and is going to the most memorable one in the Test series.
Let’s take a look at the Hits and Flops from the India and South Africa 4th Test:
1) Ajinkya Rahane
Rahane became the fifth Indian to score centuries in both the innings of a Test match in this particular match. His knock came at two very crucial moments when Team India was struggling badly, especially in the 1st innings. The pitch was not an easy one to bat on, but Rahane showed some exceptional class, patience and skill to reach to his consecutive tons and made sure India always had the upper hand in the game.
2) Ravi Chandran Ashwin
Ravi Ashwin showed again why is the best off-spinner in the world right now. He once again was the wrecker-in-chief for India as he claimed another five-wicket-haul and made the Proteas surrender on the final day on the final Test of the series. Hats off Ashwin!
3) Ravindra Jadeja
His lethal spin demolished the South African first innings. In the second innings, when Amla and AB de Villiers were executing their 'Blockathon' pretty well, Jadeja managed to breach Amla's ultra-defensive shield, which marked the fall of the Proteas defence.
1) Rohit Sharma
Rohit earned a golden duck in this Test match. Both most of the times, he got himself out in a disastrous fashion by playing reckless, unnecessary shots. Nothing more is needed to say to signify that he was the biggest flop for India in the Test match.
2) Ishant Sharma
Only managing one wicket from the entire Test, Ishant was largely overshadowed by his peer, Umesh Yadav, who stole the show with his fiery spell in the final session of the game.
3) Murali Vijay
Vijay's bat could not do wonders in the game as he got out in the both the innings in cheap scores, making him another flop in the batting department for India.
1) AB de Villiers
He consumed 297 deliveries from the Indian bowlers on a pitch which can be a batsman's worst nightmare and tried his best to avoid a humiliating defeat in the final Test. He survived for 345 minutes, the highest by any batsman in this series, showed tremendous amount of control, patience and perseverance of the highest order, but could not save his team from conceding yet another defeat. Nonetheless he proved again once more, why is currently the BEST cricketer in the cricketing arena now.
2) Hashim Amla
Amla, along with de Villiers showed to the world the long lost art of playing Test cricket. He took the old fashioned route of playing Tests as the duo undertook a 'Blockathon', a ultra-defensive strategy to save the Test and avoid another loss. Their resistance did work, atleast for a limited period of time and made the opposition a run for their money.
3) Dane Peidt
This 25 year old off-spinner was a revelation in India's first innings as he scalped four top-order wickets. His strength lies in the line and length of his delivery and he varies the speed of the ball quiet brilliantly. Some pundits even claimed that he should have been brought in the team much earlier as he seemed to exploit the Indian conditions superbly.
1) Faf du Plessis
It was yet another disappointing venture for Faf. He could not contribute anything in the first innings and in the 2nd when his team needed his services the most, he failed once more.
2) JP Duminy
A batsman of Duminy's stature is expected to perform and win matches for the team. But in this match, Duminy could hardly contribute anything with the bat, which led to his team's downfall once again.
3) Dane Vilas
Just like the above two, Vilas's contribution to the team's cause was extremely low. It won't be a surprise if he is replaced by Quinton de Kock in the upcoming Test matches.
By Dipayan Saha