Centurion: South African speedster Lungi Ngidi, who made his debut for the Proteas in the 2nd Test against India at Centurion, ripped through the Indian batting order to hand the hosts another impressive victory, with which Faf du Plessis’ men also sealed the series 2-0. While Kohli (scored 153 in the first innings) was India’s only bright spark in the Test, none of the batsmen could live up to the pressure in second innings, succumbing at a score of 151 while chasing the target of 287 in Centurion, hence losing by 135 runs.
The defeat also ended India’s 9-series winning streak in Test matches which started with the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka. With the ninth Test series win against Sri Lanka in December, India had equalled Australia’s streak of nine consecutive series wins from 2005-06 to 2008 but couldn’t go past them after losing the Centurion Test.
Coming into the series, there were a lot of hopes from the Indian batsmen, especially Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara – two of India’s best performers with the bat in 2017 – but while Kohli scored his 21st century in the first innings of the same Test, Pujara could only make headlines because of his two run-outs with which he also created an unwanted record.
The bowling performance from India also remained very ordinary. Kohl’s decision to drop Bhuvneshwar Kumar in favour of Ishant Sharma didn’t bear the fruit he would have hoped for, neither could other pacers – Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya – put in a consistent performance in both innings.
Here is the list of series which contributed to India’s 9-match winning streak:
1. India in Sri Lanka Test Series in 2015 – Won the three-match series 2-1
2. Freedom Trophy (South Africa in India) in 2015/16 – Won the four-match series 3-0
3. India in West Indies Test Series in 2016 – Won the four-match series 2-0
4. New Zealand in India Test Series in 2016/17 – Won the three-match series 3-0
5. England in India Test Series in 2016/17 – Won the five-match 4-0
6. Bangladesh in India Test Match in 2016/17 – Won the one-off match
7. Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India) – 2016/17 – won the four-match series 2-1
8. India in Sri Lanka Test Series in 2017 – Won the three-match series 3-0
9. Sri Lanka in India Test Series in 2017/18 – Won the three-match series 1-0
Rohit Sharma top scored for India in the second innings, having scored 47 runs in a losing cause. Mohammed Shami was the second best with his 28-run knock that was filled with some courageous shots.
21-year-old Lungi Ngidi completed his 5-wicket-haul in the innings after he dismissed Mohammed Shami in the 49th over. The youngster finished with the figures of 6/39. The other Proteas speedster amongst wickets was Kagiso Rabada who picked 3 wickets.