Star studded Indian cricket team’s 203 runs victory against South Africa proves its superiority in the longest format of the game. This victory has provided India 40 points and able to maintain a 100 percent record in the World Test Championship (WTC) having whitewashed the West Indies in the recently concluded two Test match series. The total point of India in WTC has reached 160.
Openers set platform
The Vizag Test will always be remembered for several outstanding individual performances and shattering of many records. Indian openers, Rohit Sharma opening first time for India in five-day match along with Mayank Aggarwal set a solid platform for India.
Rohit in do-or-die situation
Rohit had to perform to remain in the team and cement his place as well. Rohit Sharma faced harsh criticism before the match. In the do or die innings, he scored a fabulous knock of 176 runs and then the swashbuckling opener made another phenomenal ton of 127 runs in the second innings, which set the launching pad for the Indian bowlers to go all out and seal the opening Test. He became the first batsman to score centuries in both innings on debut as an opener in Test cricket. Before him Sunil Gavaskar was the only India opener who achieved this feat, but not in the first Test. He was rightly adjudged man of the match.
Taste of T20
Cricket fans enjoyed the taste of a bit of T20 in the Vizag Test. Flood of sixes entertained the crowd. 37 sixes were smashed in five days, the most in Test cricket. Sharma alone crossed the ball over the boundary rope 13 times shattering the record of Wasim Akram’s 12 sixes. The king of sixes has added another feather to his cap becoming the first batsman in world cricket who holds the record of maximum number of sixes in two out of the three formats of the game.
Record of Sharma in all formats
Test: Rohit Sharma 13 v SA Vizag 2019/20
ODI: Rohit Sharma 16 v Aus Bengaluru 2013
T20I: Rohit Sharma 10 v SL Indore 2017
Mayank scores maiden ton
Credit should also be given to Mayank Aggarwal for playing a patient knock and scored his maiden test hundred rather, converted it into double ton. The newcomer made his debut against Australia and never let the team down since then. The quality of his batting was the mixture of patience with aggression.
Ashwin wrecker in chief
Ravichandran Ashwin mesmerised the South African batting line up in the first innings and wrapped up the visitors with seven wickets. Ashwin’s performance was incredible because playing Test cricket after a long gap and then performing like this is a daunting task for any bowler.
Ashwin joins Muralitharan
Despite the resistance from Elgar and De Kock, Ashwin bowled with a purpose and claimed eight wickets in the match. He joined Sri Lankan spin wizard Muthiah Muralitharan to be the joint fastest bowler to take 350 Test wickets. Both the bowlers achieved this marvellous feat in their 66th Test.
Shami and Jaddu shine
The pace and spin duo of Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja led the charge as India in the second innings. They scalped seven wickets in the first session and two post lunch to win the first Test against South Africa. Jadeja also scripted his name in the record book, becoming the fastest left-arm bowler to take 200 wickets in the longest format of the game.
Mammoth total to chase
Chasing 395 for victory in the last innings of a Test is a mammoth task for any team. South Africa succumbed on 191 on Sunday, having resumed the day on 11/1. The visitors were clueless against the bowling attack of the Indian bowlers.
Shami equals Srinath’s record
Shami was at his best, he uprooted four South Africa’s batsmen stumps. In the end the host easily knocked down the visitor by 203 runs. Shami equalled the record of Javagal Srinath to take a five-wicket haul in the fourth innings of a Test in India. Srinath achieved this feat in 1996 at the Ahmedabad Test. Incidentally South Africa was on the receiving end that time too.
The touring party struggled throughout the match. Apart from the centuries of Elgar and De Kock the visitors surrendered meekly. The team was looking disjointed. Their bowlers failed to leave any mark. They must lift their game to challenge the strong Indian team in coming two test matches at Pune and Ranchi respectively.
Kohli praises entire team
After the match Kohli said “Jaddu and Ash again, really good. Pitch was flat, they got a few boundaries away. Always knew it was going to be a second innings pitch,” He further added “Shami has been a strike bowler in the second innings. All the guys lived up to their strengths. Batting heroes were obvious. But bowlers had it tougher in this game,”.
It was a clinical performance from team India. The entire side played as a unit with a purpose to win. The remaining two Test are going to be another cake walk for the number one Test side in the world. But South Africa may come back, they had showed some resistance in their first innings batting. Nevertheless, cricket is a game of uncertainty.