India required a mere 12 deliveries to seal a convincing innings and 202-run victory over the Proteas early on day four of the third and final Test at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Tuesday.
The result afforded India a 3-0 series sweep, after comfortable wins in the first Test in Visakhapatnam and second in Pune as well. This is the first time they have whitewashed the Proteas in a three-Test series since 1993.
Resuming on 132-8 overnight, the tourists’ second innings promptly collapsed to a lowly 133 all out. They had managed just 162 all out in the first in response to the hosts’ hefty 497-9, which was built on the back of a superb double-century from opening batsman Rohit Sharma.
Batsman Theunis de Bruyn and tailender Lungi Ngidi perished to the 11th and 12th ball of the day, respectively. De Bruyn, who was dropped for this fixture but soon returned as a concussion substitution for opening batsman Dean Elgar, was well caught by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Ngidi fell in odd circumstances, after a ricochet off non-striker Anrich Nortje bobbled into the hands of spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who finished with a tidy four wickets on debut.
South Africa can rue a series in which five specialist batsmen averaged under 27. Four of their frontline bowlers, meanwhile, averaged more than 77. Only Elgar and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada were spared poor numbers. Elgar averaged more than 46, while Rabada’s seven wickets came at under 41 apiece.
The Proteas will start a four-Test series against England on 26 December. Prior to that, several of them will be involved in domestic cricket and the second edition of the Mzansi Super League.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.
Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix