Team India clinch test series against South Africa
Team India jumps to second spot in the ICC rankings
India moved into the second place of the ICC Test Championship table after completing a 3-0 drubbing of South Africa in the four-Test series, which concluded with the fourth match in New Delhi today.
Hosts India today notched up a massive 337-run victory over South Africa in the fourth and final Test at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium after dismissing the visitors for 143 in 143.1 overs.
Indian bowlers made to work hard for the victory
Indian bowlers led by Ravichandran Ashwin showed outstanding perseverance to end South Africa’s dogged resistance.
Needing a mammoth 481 to win, South Africa depended on their ultra-defensive strategy before being bowled out for 143 in 143.1 overs, the last five wickets falling for a mere seven runs in a dramatic collapse.
The 3-0 series win also enabled India to climb upto No 2 in the ICC Test rankings.
Fittingly Ashwin (5/61 in 49.1 overs) got the final wicket with an angular delivery that Morne Morkel left and was bowled, triggering scenes of celebration in the Indian dressing room and among the players on the ground.
Skipper Virat Kohli and Man of the Match Ajinkya Rahane picked the souvenir stumps as players engaged in hearty celebrations and also thanked the spectators who gave them a standing ovation.
The Proteas, courtesy AB de Villiers’ 43 off 297 balls, looked like pulling off an improbable draw from the jaws of defeat before the Indian bowling came to life in the final session courtesy pacer Umesh Yadav’s fiery spell and Ravichandran Ashwin ending the stodgy De Villiers’ near six- hour battle.
The 3-0 series result has helped Virat Kohli’s side gain 10 points, which has lifted it from 100 points to 110 points, ahead of Australia and Pakistan, which have slipped one place each to third and fourth, respectively.
India has no more Test matches before the annual 1 April cut-off date, but Australia will host eighth-ranked West Indies in a three-Test series from December 10, sixth-ranked New Zealand will go head to head with seventh-ranked Sri Lanka also from December 10, while fifth-ranked England will travel to South Africa for a four-Test series which will start in Durban on December 26.
To finish as the number-one ranked Test side at the annual cut-off date, South Africa will have to, at least, draw the series with England. Its failure to do so, will result in it falling from the top pedestal and handing the number-one position to Australia (provided it wins the series against the West Indies by 3-0).