Freedom Trophy, 2019
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
Date: 10 October-13 October, 2019
RR: 2.80 | India beat South Africa by an innings and 137 runs
So that is it from this game. Hope you enjoyed our coverage as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. India have won the series and engraved their name in the history books as this becomes their 11th consecutive Test series win at home. This is not the end of the series though. We go to Ranchi for the third and final Test. That game begins on 19th October, i.e., Saturday. Join us for that one. Till then cheers!
Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, who is also the Man of the Match comes in for a chat. Talking about his seventh double ton, Kohli says that captaincy responsibility has helped him. Adds that he does not plan to go and score a double century but goes in with the mindset of playing five sessions for the team and score runs. On his muted celebrations after reaching the milestone, Kohli says that he has matured over the years which is a natural process. Adds that he is in a phase of his career where things like scoring centuries or double centuries does not matter much to him. Points out that helping the team win is more important. On his stand with Rahane, when Rabada was bowling well on Day 2 morning, Kohli says that he enjoys batting with Rahane. Points out that both of them love to play against top-class bowlers and score runs for the side. Adds that they both help each other whenever they are out in the middle. Talking about the catching in the slip cordon, Kohli points that they have planned well and everyone is doing well. Mentions Saha for his superb keeping and adds that even Ashwin came back into the side well. On the unassailable lead in the series, Kohli says that the series win is okay but mentions that since all these games are part of the ICC Test Championship, hence they will not take the foot off the gas.
Faf du Plessis, the South African skipper is the first one to have a word. Talking about the first innings, Faf says that the first innings are always important in the subcontinent. Congratulates Kohli for his superb double ton and points out that the side got tired up because of tough two days. Adds that the team needs to be on top of the game but they weren't and hence the defeat. Talking further on Kohli's century, Faf says that Kohli was too good in the entire innings. Says that Virat looked determined and he was hungry for runs. On his three pacer combination, Faf believes the selection was a right call but admits that apart from Philander and to some extent Rabada, none of the bowlers bowled well. Points out that the Indian seamers have done well and they never look out of form. Mentions that he can't blame debutant Nortje for this game. On Ngidi, Faf says that he is fine and working well on his fitness but on these conditions he needs to be completely fit to bowl longer spells.
Stay tuned for the presentation.
Umesh Yadav and Wriddhiman Saha are in for a quick chat with Sanjay Manjrekar. Talking about the two catches that Saha took off Umesh's bowling, the pacer thanks his wicket-keeper and says that with Saha, they're are sure that even if the ball is down the leg side, Saha can catch them. Talking about his second ball wicket, Umesh points out that there is a healthy competition in the team. Adds that he keeps working hard and practices well. Points that he has a mindset that whenever he gets an opportunity, he is ready to do well. Saha talking about his keeping says that keeping against the pacers is tough as they bowl with the wobbly seam and they practice as per the conditions. On his fitness, Saha says that everyone works well with the trainer and they prepare well ahead of the games. On his return to the side, Umesh says that he knew that he will get a game for sure and adds that he had taken 10 wickets in his last game in India and was very confident.
India dominated the game from the moment the toss went in their favour. The hosts after opting to bat put up a massive total of 601/5, courtesy of a magnificent unbeaten 254 from skipper Virat Kohli. With the help of a century from Mayank Agarwal and fifties from Jadeja, Pujara and Rahane, the Indians posted a huge first innings total. The hosts continued their dominance with the ball too as they wrapped up South Africa for 275. Ashwin was the star with the ball in the first innings as he finished with a 4-fer.
We were treated by another brilliant display of bowling by the Indian bowlers. All the recognized bowlers got into the wickets column. Jadeja and Umesh shared 6 wickets amongst themselves whereas Ashwin got two. While Shami and Ishant had one wicket each. The duo of Ashwin and Umesh had a very good game with the ball finishing the match with 6 wickets each.
It was a lacklustre show once again from the South African batters, especially the top order. When there is a follow-on, the top order, especially the openers need to put up a fight but it was a no show. Only 4 players got into the double digit score. With two of them, Maharaj and Philander being tail-enders. This in itself shows the sorry state of the South African batting. Elgar and Temba Bavuma were the only two 'recognized' batters who showed some fight. Faf du Plessis showed resilience but that was not good enough.
After keeping the suspense on Day 3, India decided to enforce the follow-on. They got off to a brilliant start, getting rid of Aiden Markram on the very second ball of the day. The Indian bowlers were well on top in the first session and picked 4 wickets. They had a similar start to the second session as well. They got 3 wickets post Lunch but Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander once again troubled the hosts. But the Tea break brought a lapse in concentration between the duo as it took only around 7 overs for India to wrap up the innings.
2-0 it is which means India have taken an unassailable lead in the three-match series. With another 40 points in the World Test Championship, India not just increase their lead at the top they also become the first team to reach 200 points and maintain their unbeaten run in WTC.
UDRS TIME! Is this game over? Looks close. Here comes the Ultra Edge, no bat. Here comes the Ball Tracker. Three reds it is.
Anrich Nortje is the last man in for the visitors.
Kagiso Rabada is the next man in!
Ravindra Jadeja is back!
Umesh Yadav to bowl from the other end. 5-2-14-1, his figures so far.
Welcome back for the final session on Day 4. Can this is be the final session of the match as well? The Indian players walk out to the middle. They would want to close the innings and match today itself. Out come Philander and Maharaj and they would want to extend it as soon as possible. Let's see how things turn up. It's skipper Virat Kohli who will start the proceedings for the hosts. What move it that? Philander to face the first ball.
... Day 4, Session 3 ...
Just 5 overs in the session for pacers. Only Mohammed Shami was the pacer to get the ball in this session. Jadeja and Ashwin were good but the tail troubled him. Jadeja will feel hard done by as Keshav Maharaj was dropped early in his innings of his bowling by Pujara. India would surely don't want to come back on Day 5 and would look to finish it off in the final session of the day itself. Can they do it? Join us after the break to find out.
Another session that was won by India but towards the end it was like a repeat telecast of Day 3. Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander annoyed the Indian bowlers yesterday and they have done the same here. Just like the morning session, the hosts picked up a wicket early on. Temba Bavuma showed some fight but fell before his fifty. Muthusamy irritated the Indian bowlers before throwing in the towel. Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander then once again joined hands just like the first innings and ensured they head into Tea with still 3 wickets to spare.
Jadeja is back. This should be the last over before Tea! 18-3-47-2, his figures so far.
Change of ends for Ashwin.
Rohit to bowl!
Ravichandran Ashwin is back into the attack.
Half-centurion from the first innings, Keshav Maharaj walks out to bat now.
DRINKS! Two wickets in the first hour of the second session. Bavuma did well to get to 38 but was done with a beauty from Jadeja. Earlier, Quinton de Kock played a poor shot to go back to the pavilion. India are just 4 wickets away and would want to close the game as soon as they can. However, they faced problems in removing the tail in the first innings as well when Philander and Maharaj presented spirited fight. Can the lower order of the visitors present similar resistance? Let's see what happens. Vernon Philander to walk out to bat after the break.
Review time. Not sure whether it is for a catch or LBW. If it is for the latter then it looks like a waste of a review as the ball as hit his pad on the off pole at best. It is spinning away too as well. Let us see what the replays have to say.
Jadeja is on!
Bavuma is batting well here.
Rohit Sharma is off the field. He has taken a couple of blows at silly point. Hanuma Vihari substitutes him for the moment.
Shami is back. 4-2-17-0 so far.
Senuran Muthusamy is the next man in.
Ravindra Jadeja (5-0-9-0) to continue from the other end.
Welcome back for the second session of the day. The Indian players walk out to the middle. Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock comes out to the middle as well. Ravichandran Ashwin to bowl the first over after Lunch, de Kock to face. Two slips, a short leg and a silly point as the close-in catchers. Here we go...
... Day 4, Session 2 ...
So a South Africa defeat looks inevitable. Only a miracle can see them go past India's trail forget about putting India to bat. They will now look to play hour by hour. Kohli and his troops will now be looking to wrap this up in the next session itself. Can they do it? Join us for the second session to find out.
It was a brilliant bowling display from the Indians. They bowled the right lines and lengths and kept the Protea batters at bay. Ashwin's fine Test continued as he added 2 more wickets to his 4 that he took in the first innings of the game. Ishant and Umesh were the other bowlers to get into the wickets column. But the unsung hero of this session has to be Wriddhimann Saha. He took two blinders which are equally his wicket as the bowlers.
After enforcing the follow-on, India started the day with a bang. On the very second ball of the day, Ishant struck gold sending Markram for a duck, making him grab a pair for the first time in his Test career. Luck too went India's way as Ball Tracker later on showed that the ball was missing the stumps. That wicket though set the pretext of the session. Theunis de Bruyn stayed for a while before a stunning catch from Saha saw his back. Elgar and Faf du Plessis then tried to grind it out in the middle. The duo added a 49-run stand before the skipper was sent back after another fine catch from Saha. Elgar was fighting a lone battle but a rush of blood moment saw him throw his wicket away.
If we say it is India's session then that would mean we are just stating the obvious. India have completely annihilated South Africa in this session.
Quinton de Kock walks out to bat now.
Temba Bavuma, the vice captain of this Test side replaces the skipper out in the middle.
Ravindra Jadeja is into the attack.
Review time! India have taken a review for LBW! Faf du Plessis is the man in question. Ashwin did not seem too confident once the umpire turned it down but Saha is convinced and Kohli takes it upstairs.
DRINKS! So, after the Indian skipper enforced the follow-on, they have managed to get the two wickets quickly. Ishant struck in the very first over to remove Markram while Umesh did not take much time either to send Theunis de Bruyn packing. Markram was unlucky as the replays revealed that had he opted for the review, he would've survived but that was not to be. Skipper Faf du Plessis walked in at number 4 and has seen off the first hour along with Elgar who has got a few streaky boundaries but would love to continue bat as long as he can. India's plans would be simple. Keep chipping in with wickets and do not allow the partnership to get bigger. Interesting hour ahead.
Spin time! Kohli brings Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack.
Mohammed Shami to bowl now.
No Bavuma. It's skipper Faf du Plessis who has finally come out at number 4. Interesting!
Umesh Yadav to share the new ball with Ishant Sharma from the other end. He had struck in the first over of the first innings. Can he do the same this innings?
Theunis de Bruyn walks out at number 3.