India wins the Gandhi-Mandela series thanks to Kohli’s double ton

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Kohli being congratulated by Du Plessis on scoring two centuries

In a way, the second Test between India and South Africa (SA) at Pune was a mirror image of the first Test between them at Visakhapatnam a week ago. India had thrashed SA by 203 runs in the first Test and thumped them at Pune yesterday by an innings and 137 runs.

By holding a 2-0 lead in a three Test series India has won the Gandhi-Mandela series for the Paytm Freedom Trophy.

Oh so many heroes! Where to start?

India won the toss and declared at a mammoth 601 for the loss of only five wickets, skipper Virat Kohli top-scoring with an unbeaten 254. It was his seventh double century, a record for an Indian batsman. He also reached 7000 runs in only his 81st Test.

Kohli holds an Indian record, going past Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, six double tons each. Now only Don Bradman (12 double hundreds), Kumar Sangakkara (11) and Brian Lara (9) are ahead of him.

Mayank Agarwal scored 108 runs

Man of the Match Kohli was not the only batsman to flourish, opening batsman Mayank Agarwal scored 108, his second century in the series, Cheteshwar Pujara 58, Ajinkya Rahane 59 and Ravindra Jadeja a quick fire 91.

South Africa replied with 275 (Ravi Ashwin 4-69, Umesh Yadav 3-37) to trail by 326 runs. On being forced to follow on they fared even worse, bundled out for 189, Yadav and Jadeja claiming three wickets each.

India triumphed by an innings to win the Trophy with one more Test at Ranchi (starting on the 19th) still to go.

Below are some quirky observations:

  • India amassed 1426 runs for the loss of only 16 wickets, that is at an excellent 89.12 runs per wicket. In contrast, SA struggled to 1086 runs losing 40 wickets, which works out at a poor 27.16 runs per wicket. A huge difference of 62 runs per wicket! And remember India was without her ace fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
  • In all four innings South Africa started poorly, being 4-63 (out of a total of 431) and 8 for 70 (out of 191) in the first Test at Vishakhapatnam and 5 for 53 (out of 275) and 5 for 79 (out of 189) in the second Test in Pune.
  • In the series, 1113 runs were accumulated by Mayank Agarwal (330), Rohit Sharma (317), Virat Kohli (305) and Ravindra Jadeja (161) at a combined average of 123.67. SA could aggregate only 1086 runs in the series, 27 runs less than the prolific Indian quartet!
  • Virat Kohli can be called Emperor Kohli after his amassing 305 runs in the series at an astronomical average of 305.00. But Keshav is the only Maharaj in this Test series. Despite a crippling shoulder injury, the slow left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj top-scored for South Africa with 72 runs in the first innings at Pune, batting at number 10.

India is way ahead on the ICC World Championship table with 200 points in four Tests, followed by New Zealand and Sri Lanka with 60 points each in two Tests and Australia and England with 56 points each in four Tests.

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