India thrashed South Africa by 337 runs to clinch the four-match Test series 3-0. Here’s a look at the top performances by Indians in the Delhi Test.
Ajinkya Rahane: The middle order bat struggled in the previous Tests in the series, but at Delhi he was at his very best, scoring a hundred in each innings – only the fifth Indian to do so – and, with it, earning the man of the match award. Rahane came into bat in the first innings when India were in a spot of bother, but returned after putting India in a comfortable position. He mixed caution with aggression brilliantly in his 127, which featured 11 fours and as many as four sixes. Rahane continued his good work in the second innings as well, scoring a fluent unbeaten 100 from 206 balls with eight fours and three sixes.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Yet again, Ashwin delivered with the ball. He broke South Africa’s resistance in the second innings after, at one stage, it seemed that the visitors could escape with a draw. He dismissed both the openers, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma, before adding the big scalps of AB de Villiers and JP Duminy. Fittingly, it was Ashwin who finished off the Test, by dismissing Morne Morkel. In the first innings as well, he claimed two wickets, though both were tailenders. Ashwin also made a significant contribution with the bat. His 56 was crucial in India crossing 330 in their first innings.
Ravindra Jadeja: If Ashwin was the star performer in the second innings, Jadeja made his presence felt in a big way in the first. His 5 for 30 was crucial in keeping South Africa down to 121. His wickets included those of Bavuma, Amla, de Villiers and du Plessis. India couldn’t have asked for much more of him. In the second innings, he managed only two wickets, but both were big ones. Jadeja ended the stubborn resistance of Amla and du Plessis, who had faced 244 and 97 balls respectively. He also contributed a key 24 with the bat in India’s first innings.
Virat Kohli: The Indian skipper was due for a big score, and although he did not get a hundred, Kohli should be pleased with his effort in the match. He looked the best he has been in the series at his home ground. Kohli’s partnership with Rahane in the first innings helped India recover after a poor start. He was unlucky to be dismissed freakishly in the first innings for 44. Kohli doubled his score in the second innings, but was again unlucky as he was trapped lbw as the ball kept low. He had done his job though.
Umesh Yadav: The Indian pacer played a crucial role in India’s win with five wickets in the match. His most important spell came after tea on day five when pegged back the tail with three quick strikes. In the first innings, he dismissed Elgar and Duminy with good deliveries. One of Yadav’s better performances for India in Tests without doubt. Hopefully, there will be more of the same in store in future.
--By A Cricket Analyst