SA win Newlands Test, clinch three-match series 2-1: Key takeaways
South Africa have beaten India in the three-match Test series 2-1. The Proteas won the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town after chasing down 212. Top-order batter Keegan Petersen led the charge with an 82-run knock. He also smashed 72 in the first innings. Meanwhile, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma scored the winning runs for South Africa. Here are the takeaways.
How did the match pan out?
India compiled 223 after electing to bat first. Skipper Virat Kohli scored a gritty 79. In reply, India bowled out South Africa for 210 to take a 13-run lead. Jasprit Bumrah took a five-wicket haul. Pant scored a magnificent hundred as India clawed their way to 198/10 in the second innings. South Africa chased down 212, riding on a resounding knock by Keegan Petersen.
Keegan Petersen has been a revelation
Top-order batter Keegan Petersen was not only the find of the series, he has been a revelation in Test cricket. He showcased sturdy footwork against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Petersen racked up 276 runs in three Tests at an average of 46.00, including three 50+ scores. He finished as the leading run-scorer of the series.
Ajinkya Rahane's lean patch continues
The lean patch of Ajinkya Rahane continues (1 and 9). Rahane has scored just 2,659 runs at 33.23 in his last 50 Test innings. The tally includes four centuries and 16 fifties. The middle-order batter last slammed a century in the Boxing Day Test in 2020. It remains to be seen if the former Indian vice-captain still receives the backing of the team management.
Pujara averages just 27.38 since January 2019
Like Rahane, top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara has been given the "long rope" by the management. Pujara hasn't scored a Test ton in over three years. His last century came in January 2019 against Australia (193 at the SCG). Pujara has scored just 1,287 runs from 27 Tests at an average of 27.38 ever since. He scored 43 and 9 in Cape Town.
Drama at Newlands!
The third day of the Test witnessed high-intensity drama on-field. While Rishabh Pant dazzled the fans with his world-class hitting, the entire Indian team came together to bash SuperSport, the host broadcaster. India were furious after SA skipper Dean Elgar was given a massive respite due to a controversial DRS decision. The visitors seemed to have lost the plot thereafter.
India couldn't conquer the final frontier
India were vying for their first-ever Test series win in South Africa. It was their best chance to conquer the final frontier. They were 1-0 in the series after winning the series opener in Centurion. Meanwhile, South Africa were devoid of several legends, who once served them. They were also taken aback by the absence of Anrich Nortje (injury) and Quinton de Kock (retired).