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Virat Kohli-led No.1 Test team fails to break South Africa jinx yet again

Failing to perform in the series, which was titled as a ‘litmus test’ for the No.1 Test side, India collapsed in a competitive 287-run target chase.

Akash Khanna Written by: Akash Khanna New Delhi Updated on: January 17, 2018 23:42 IST
Virat Kohli
Image Source : BCCI India captain Virat Kohli reacts during the third day of the Centurion Test

South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi claimed six wickets in his debut match as South Africa outclassed India by 135 runs in the second Test at Centurion on Wednesday to win the three-match Test series 2-0, with a match to go. (Highlights)

Failing to perform in the series, which was titled as a ‘litmus test’ for the No.1 Test side, India collapsed in a competitive 287-run target chase. Rohit Sharma remained the highest scorer in the end with 47 runs, while six of India batsmen fell for single-digit scores. (Full Scorecard)

After winning the toss, South Africa’s decision to bat first resulted in a confident total of 335 runs in their first innings. Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla delighted with 94 and 82 runs respectively, while captain Faf du Plessis contributed with a 63-run knock.

For India, pacer Ishant Sharma and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three and four wickets to stop the South African juggernaut in the first innings. Coming to the trail, India rode on Virat Kohli’s noteworthy 153-run knock to reach somewhat closer to Proteas. India scored 307 all out, just 28 runs short of South Africa’s first innings.

In the second innings, South Africa consolidated their lead with the help of Dean Elgar (61) and AB de Villiers (80). Mohammed Shami took four wickets, while Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma joined in with three and two wickets each as South Africa were wrapped for 258 runs and the visitors got a 287-run target.

With the series defeat in Centurion, India suffered their first Test series since 2015. They last lost a Test series to Australia, 2-0 in the four-match series, in the Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2015. The Indians have never won a series in South Africa, a jinx that remains intact.

Here's a look at India's past Test performances in South Africa

1992/93 - South Africa 1-0

After the end of the Apartheid era, South Africa returned to the international cricket and that is when India helped the nation. Under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin, India became the first team to tour South Africa for a Test series. The series was then named 'The Friendship Series'.

Clive Rice-led South Africa didn't disappoint their home crowd and clinched the four-match Test series by 1-0. It was a complete bowlers' series as delighting in the low-scoring games, South African pacer Allan Donald was given 'The Man of The Series' award. For India, Javagal Srinath put a strong fightback with the ball, claiming 'The Man of The Match' award in the last Test in Cape Town.

1996/97 - South Africa 2-0

By 1997, when India toured South Africa for the second time, South Africa had tightened their grip on Test cricket. Under the captaincy of Hansie Cronje, South Africa sealed the three-match Test series by 2-0.

India's batting great Sachin Tendulakar couldn't do magic while leading the side in the Test series. Rahul Dravid, however, emerged as a lone successful batsman after he scored 148 and 81 in successive innings of the third and final match to clinch 'The Man of The Match' title.

2001/02 - South Africa 1-0

During India's tour of South Africa in 2001/02, Tendulkar excelled with a 155-run knock to bring hopes for the visitors. Thanks to his effort, India reach a comfortable total of 379 runs. However, South Africa rode on centuries by Herschelle Gibbs and Lance Klusener to post a mammoth total of 563 runs. In the second innings, Shaun Pollak, who was later bestowed with 'The Man of The Match' award, shone with the ball and claimed six wickets to wrap India for 237 runs. Emphatically, South Africa won the first Test by nine wickets.

The second Test couldn't see a result but Gibbs continued to impress, scoring 196 runs to mark dominance over the Indian bowlers. The Proteas clinched the two-match series by 1-0.

2006/07 - South Africa 2-1

It was during 2006/07 tour of South Africa when India registered their maiden Test match win. Under the captaincy of Dravid, the Indians outclassed the Proteas by 123 runs in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead. Pacer S Sreesanth claimed eight wickets in successive innings to claim 'The Man of The Match' award.

South Africa, led by Graeme Smith, returned stronger in the next two matches, handing India a 174-run and five-wicket win to clinch the three-match series. Pacer Pollock was bestowed with 'The Player of The Series' award in the end.

2010/11 - South Africa 1-1

Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, India registered their best series result in South Africa after they managed to draw the three-match series by 1-1. Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara were the players from the current squad that toured South Africa in 2010/11.

South Africa started the series well after defeating India by an innings and 25 runs in the first Test at Centurion. Middle-order batsman VVS Laxman slammed a 96-run knock as India won the second Test by 87 runs. The third and the final Test in Cape Town ended in a draw and the two teams had to share the silverware.

2013/14 - South Africa 1-0

India's last tour of South Africa in 2013/14 saw the rise of Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli, who defeating the odds, performed comparatively well. Though, their grit couldn't result in a win and South Africa sealed the cup again by 1-0 in a two-Test series. Kohli and Pujara scored a century each in the first Test in Johannesburg, which ended in a draw. The current Indian captain was presented with 'The Man of The Match' award for scoring 119 and 96 in successive innings. In Durban, India lost the second match by 10 wickets and series by 1-0.

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