India's cricketers celebrate their victory at JSCA stadium in Ranchi on Tuesday. Money Sharma/ AFP
Shahbaz Nadeem took the final two wickets in straight balls as India thrashed South Africa by an innings and 202 runs in the third Test on Tuesday to complete a 3-0 sweep of the series.
The day’s play lasted just 12 balls and the triumph emphatically rammed home India’s feat in beating Australia’s record of 10 straight home series wins and consolidated their place at the top of the World Test Championship.
For South Africa, who lost two of the three matches by more than an innings, it was one of their worst series in decades.
Nadeem got substitute Theunis de Bruyn caught behind for 30 and then Lungi Ngidi for nought to dismiss the tourists for 133 while following on in the fourth day in Ranchi.
India made 497 for nine declared in their first innings. They made South Africa follow on after bowling them out for 162 in their first attempt.
The series saw Indian batsmen Mayank Agarwal (215), Virat Kohli (254 not out) and Rohit Sharma (212) all hit double tons against South Africa.
But coach Ravi Shastri said the bowlers had played an equally important part.
“We always wanted to take 20 wickets irrespective of where we were playing. Our batting is pretty much like a Ferrari taking off,” said Shastri after the win.
“We are just focussed on taking 20 wickets.”
After big wins in the first two tests in Visakhapatnam and Pune, fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav took 10 wickets between them this time and opening batsman Rohit Sharma hit his maiden Test double century as India crushed their opponents.
De Bruyn came in to the South African XI in place of Dean Elgar, who was hit on the helmet and concussed by a short paced Umesh Yadav delivery on Monday.
The left-hander had to retire hurt and is now under observation.
Anrich Nortje received a hit on the arm on the final ball of the match after Ngidi’s shot hit him and then went to Nadeem for a return catch.
India are scheduled to host Bangladesh for two Tests and three Twenty20 internationals starting Nov.3 but that series is under threat as the Bangladesh players have gone on strike over payments.
Out-of-form opener Lokesh Rahul has been excluded while rookie Shubman Gill has received his maiden call-up for three-Test series against South Africa starting Oct.2.
Virat Kohli took a century in his 50th Test as captain as India built another giant score against South Africa on day two of the second Test on Friday.
“Jasprit Bumrah made a request to BCCI to be released from India’s squad ahead of the fourth Test owing to personal reasons,” the board said in a statement. “Accordingly, the fast bowler has been released and he will not be available for selection for the fourth Test.”
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