Pseudo Pundits: South Africa’s Spin in India
South Africa’s tour of India was a happy one till the test series began. Now, they go back with a bruised and battered ego after facing a surprising 0-3 loss as the number one-ranked test side in the world. Our powers of observation worked overtime and we came up with this amazing (seriously!) list:
IS IT A PITCH? NO, IT’S A MINEFIELD!
This is probably what the Proteas said to each other before the start of all four tests. Mohali and Nagpur were rank turners where the match got over in three days each. Bangalore seemed like a better pitch but the weather there had different plans. Delhi was better as it was the only match to last five days, but by then the damage had already been done in the minds of the visiting batsmen!
THE RETURN OF SIR
Ravindra Jadeja returned to the test team on the back of some impressive domestic performances and simply bamboozled the South Africans. He certainly lived up to his title by picking 23 wickets in the series at a miserly 10.82 and scored some crucial runs at an average of 21.80. ‘Jaddu’ was a thorn for the visitors and no, they weren’t amused by India’s shining knight!
OF ASH, JINX AND FAF
Three men with interesting nicknames had quite contrasting series. Ravichandran ‘Ash’win ended up with 31 wickets in the series and just reduced the Proteas to ashes in the series. Ajinkya ‘Jinx’ Rahane got over a string of low scores in the series by rising to the occasion in the Kotla test to slam hundreds in both innings, breaking the jinx of not having scored a century on home turf. As for Francois ‘Faf’ du Plessis, he is considered to be one of the better players of spin but simply ended up becoming ‘fafda’ for the Indian spinners.
BLOCK BABY BLOCK
Hashim Amla (25 off 244 balls) and Co. came to the conclusion in the final test that the only way to regain lost pride was to bat five sessions even if it meant defending everything thrown at them! AB de Villiers shunned all his attacking instincts, even if it meant taking painful blows on the hand, to dig in his heels for a painstaking 43 off 297 balls. Alas, a return to the old ways couldn’t save them. We know the real reason why they lost and perhaps the visitors would agree that it was some ancient Indian sorcery that did them in!