Thursday, November 21, 2019

Posted at: Oct 21, 2019, 7:57 AM; last updated: Oct 21, 2019, 7:57 AM (IST)

Hit Man’s double

Rohit’s 212, Rahane’s 115 propel India to 497/9 before pacemen strike

Numbers game

  • 99.84 Rohit’s average in home Tests after his 212-run knock. He has scored 1,298 runs in 18 innings with six tons and five half-centuries. He has the best average at home among all batsmen with 10-plus innings, just ahead of Don Bradman’s 98.22
  • 529 Runs scored by Rohit Sharma in the series against South Africa — the most by an India opener in a Test series since Virender Sehwag’s 544 vs Pakistan in 2005. Rohit is the fifth India opener to amass 500-plus runs in a series. Sunil Gavaskar (5 times), Vinoo Mankad, Budhi Kunderan and Sehwag are the others
  • 0 Indian batsmen to score more runs in a series than Rohit’s 529, having batted four or fewer innings in the series. Sehwag scored 491 vs Sri Lanka in 2009-10
  • 3 Double tons for India in this series (Mayank Agarwal in Visakhapatnam, Virat Kohli in Pune and Rohit in Ranchi). This is the first time India have had more than two double centurions in a Test series. There have been only four instances of three double-centurions in a series. England’s Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen scored double-hundreds when India visited them in 2011
  • 19 Sixes hit by Rohit in this series — the most by a batsman in a Test series. The previous record was 15 by Shimron Hetmyer against Bangladesh last year
  • 31 Runs off 10 balls by Umesh Yadav with a strike-rate of 310.00 — the highest strike-rate in a 10-plus ball innings in Test history. He becomes the first batsman to smash five sixes in an innings without smashing a four in Tests
Hit Man’s double
Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century on Day 2 of the third Test against South Africa in Ranchi. AFP

Ranchi, October 20

Rohit Sharma powered India with his maiden Test double hundred before the home pacers dented the already-scarred South Africa top-order to gain complete control of the third and final Test.

The stylish Rohit smashed 212 off 258 balls in the company of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who made a fine 115, enabling India to declare at 497/9 on Day 2. Before bad light stopped play, South Africa were reduced to 9/2 in five overs. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav removed Dean Elgar (0) and Quinton de Kock (4), respectively, in their single over bursts.

Rohit, who had made 176, 127 and 14 in his three previous innings in the series, firmed his position at the top with his first 200, hitting 28 boundaries and six sixers. His languid grace stood out through his innings, though sadly, yet again there was only a sparse crowd at the ground to witness his skills.

Having gone to lunch on 199 today, Rohit reached his 200 in style with a six, despatching an express delivery from Lungi Ngidi into the stand behind midwicket boundary with a front-foot pull. Two balls later, as if to taunt the pacer, Rohit repeated the shot with the same result. Next over, going for quick runs, Rohit was dismissed when he was caught at the fine-leg boundary by Ngidi off Kagiso Rabada.

Solid Rahane

At the other end, Rahane looked solid as he compiled his 11th Test hundred, the first in India in three years. Rohit and Rahane added 267 runs for the fourth wicket to set a solid platform before Ravindra Jadeja (51 off 119 balls) and Umesh Yadav (31 off 10 balls with five sixers) provided the final impetus to the innings.

Except for Rabada (3/85), the South African attack lacked penetration, which has been the real problem for the visitors through the series. In four innings, India have had three double centurions — Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli and Rohit — which tells the story of South Africa’s ineffective bowling. Debutant left-arm spinner George Linde (4/133) was the most successful bowler for South Africa, though Yadav took him to the cleaners, hitting him for all his five sixers.

Fiery quicks

When South Africa batted under fading light, the Indian pacers were too hot to handle. Shami struck with his second delivery as Elgar tried to leave the rising ball late but it kissed his gloves en route to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps. Yadav removed de Kock with a brilliant bouncer, the batsman failing to keep the ball down as he tried to fend it off. With a relatively early sunset and fading light in this part of the world, India’s bowlers would be keen to take advantage of the pitch, on which cracks are beginning to open, and end the South African innings as soon as possible. — PTI


INDIA 1st inn (Overnight 224/3)

M Agarwal c Elgar b Rabada 10

R Sharma c Ngidi b Rabada 212

C Pujara lbw b Rabada 0

V Kohli lbw b Nortje 12

A Rahane c Klaasen b Linde 115

R Jadeja c Klaasen b Linde 51

W Saha b Linde 24

R Ashwin st Klaasen b Piedt 14

U Yadav c Klaasen b Linde 31

S Nadeem not out 1

M Shami not out 10

Extras: (b 10, lb 6, nb 1) 17

Total: (9 wkts decl, 116.3 overs) 497

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-16, 3-39, 4-306, 5-370, 6-417, 7-450, 8-464, 9-482


Kagiso Rabada 23-7-85-3

Lungi Ngidi 20-5-83-0

Anrich Nortje 24.3-5-79-1

George Linde 31-2-133-4

Dane Piedt 18-3-101-1

S Africa 1st innings

D Elgar c Saha b Shami 0

Q de Kock c Saha b Yadav 4

Z Hamza not out 0

F du Plessis not out 1

Extras: (b 4) 4

Total: (For 2 wickets, 5 overs) 9

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-8


Mohammed Shami 1-1-0-1

Umesh Yadav 1-0-4-1

Shahbaz Nadeem 2-2-0-0

Ravindra Jadeja 1-0-1-0


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