Rahane and Ashwin: Top of the Tops
We delve into Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane; toppers of the bowling and batting charts respectively in the recently concluded test series against South Africa.
India completed a crushing 3-0 series win against the world’s number 1 ranked test side South Africa in the four-match series. Having lost both the one-day and T20 series, it was imperative that India had a positive result in the tests and they pulled it off convincingly. With a lot of talk around the pitches, we focus on the ones who topped the charts in bowling and batting in the series:
The offie has always been the primary threat in Indian conditions and he enhanced his reputation further. He finished with 31 wickets at an astounding average of 11.12 and formed a deadly partnership with Ravindra Jadeja. The duo shared 54 out of the 70 South African wickets that fell in the series. To add to four 5-wicket and one 10-wicket hauls, he chipped in with some useful runs down the order. The crucial 56 in Delhi took India past the first 300+ score in the series and set up the foundation for a huge win. He ended with a decent batting average of 25.25 in a difficult series for batsmen from both sides.
Ashwin won the Man-of-the-Series award, the fifth of his career, and is now tied with illustrious names like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for most wins. He also became the fastest Indian to 150 wickets during the series.
The Mumbai-lad topped the batting charts with 266 runs at an impressive 53.20. But, Rahane wasn’t exactly a model of consistency in the series with only 39 runs in the series going into the final test at Kotla. In tricky conditions he batted brilliantly, stringing crucial partnerships with skipper Virat Kohli and then Ashwin to help India to 334 in the first innings. His knock of 127 was his first century in India and followed up with an unbeaten 100 in the second innings to enable India to set an improbable target for the Proteas.
Rahane has a knack for delivering the goods when the chips are down and he made sure the run drought in the series didn’t last long enough.