India took only two overs to wrap South Africa’s second innings on Tuesday as they won the third Test by an innings and 202 runs at Ranchi. In the process, they whitewashed South Africa (SA) 3-0. This is not just the 4th biggest innings defeat for SA, but also only the third time since re-admission that the team has lost all matches in a series involving three or more Tests. The last occasion on which SA lost two or more consecutive Tests in a series by an innings margin was against Australia at home in the 1935-36 season. Furthermore, on his own, swashbuckling opener Rohit Sharma scored more runs in an innings (212) than what the entire SA team could manage in each innings respectively.
Initially, Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat. However, the team suffered a body blow after losing in-form opening batsman Mayank Agarwal, Pujara and Kohli very cheaply in the first session itself. With three wickets down for just 39 runs, SA looked to dominate. However, Sharma and Rahane had other ideas. They took the attack to the opposition, with the former slamming yet another century before play on day one was abandoned due to rain. Their partnership flourished on the second day and soon, Rahane scored a ton as well. When he finally departed, the duo had already stitched a partnership of 267 runs. The rampage though continued as Sharma scored his maiden Test double-hundred, hitting 28 boundaries and 6 sixes.
SA’s woes were summed up by the fact that pacer Umesh Yadav also hit a quickfire 31 from simply 10 balls with 5 huge sixes. On the other hand, SA could not handle India’s fiery pace attack and the wily spinners, collapsing for 162. Only Zubayr Hamza put up some fight scoring a half-century. Thereafter, India imposed the follow-on. But SA’s response failed to be different as they lost their top order batsmen very early in the innings. Apart from Ravichandran Ashwin, every bowler rose to the occasion. Debutant left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem picked two wickets in each innings. He took the final wicket of the SA innings to secure a 11th straight series win for India on home soil.