"It was very challenging and we won because of our batting efforts and the bowlers coming together well," Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation at Johannesburg.
India went in with a five-man pace attack after winning the toss and decided to bat first, which turned out to be a master stroke in the end as South Africa found it really difficult to bat in the fourth innings.
Cheteshwar Pujara took responsibility in the first innings while Kohli proved that he is a batsman for all the conditions by scoring 95 runs on a tough wicket where most of the batsmen struggled. Bhuvneshwar Kumar played two useful knocks in both the essays and substantiated that he could not have been dropped for the second Test.
Jasprit Bumrah took his maiden five-for in the first innings while Mohammed Shami, who struggled in the first innings, took a five-for in the second and aid India register a memorable overseas Test win. Overall, it was a team-effort from India which helped them to seize the crucial moments in the game.
Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla were only the positives for the hosts while their pace quartet once again proved that they are too hot to handle if conditions are in their favour. Given the kind of contest that the two sides produced, the ODI series should be as exciting as the Tests.
For now, let’s look at some of the records broken, or for that matter created, in the third Test between India and South Africa.
Cheteshwar Pujara showed patience and determination against the South African pace quartet and scored a fifty. Interestingly, he took 54 balls to get off the mark which was the second most by an Indian player in Tests. Rajesh Chauhan took 57 balls to open his account against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad in 1994 which is an Indian record.
This was the first time Indian pacers took 20 wickets in a Test match. This was only the second time in India’s Test history that India took the field without a specialist spinner in their playing XI. India played in a Test match against Perth without a specialist spinner in their XI against Australia in 2012.
This was the first time that 120 wickets had been collected by bowlers in a three-Test series. This was only the third time that Indian bowlers picked up 60 wickets in a three-match Test series.
Kohli scored 41 runs in the second innings of the Test and went past MS Dhoni’s tally of 3,454 runs to become the highest run-getter among Indian captains in the whites.
Only Dhoni has now won more Tests than Kohli as an Indian captain in Tests. Sourav Ganguly had also won 21 Tests in his captaincy career.
India are the only team not to lose a Test at Johannesburg. Moreover, their bowlers have enjoyed bowling at the venue over the years as their bowling average of 27.59 is the best among away venues at which they have atleast played five Tests.
Kohli became the first Asian captain to score 250-plus runs in a Test series in South Africa. He also became the first Asian captain to score two fifty-plus scores in a Test series in South Africa.
India have now won seven international matches at the Wanderers Stadium which is the most they have won at a venue in South Africa across formats.