Centurion: Indomitable at home, India’s batsmen capitulated in the face of South Africa’s menacing pace attack to suffer a 135-run drubbing in the second Test here today, ending a nine-series unbeaten run for Virat Kohli’s world No.1 side.
After the 72-run loss in the opening Test, the margin got bigger here as the visitors handed the home side a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Rohit Sharma’s 47 was the lone noteworthy contribution in a chase of 287, which was a tall ask from the very beginning given the unpredictable bounce of the pitch.
The Indians folded for 151 in 50.2 overs, never really offering a fight.
Debutant Lungi Ngidi was the newest fast-bowling nemesis that India discovered as he snared six scalps for a mere 39 runs in 12.2 overs. Ngidi collected the man of the match award for his phenomenal debut show, which also included the prized wicket of Kohli in the second innings.
It was a revenge of sorts for Faf du Plessis’ men, who had been blanked 3-0 by hosts India in 2015. The defeat ended the aura of invincibility that the Indian team had attained in the last one year, thanks largely to big wins registered in friendly sub-continental dustbowls.
From team selection to shot selection, to running between the wickets to the absence of sheer grit, India were left pondering quite a few issues at the end of just their second Test away from the sub-continent in more than a year.
On the other hand, the South Africans showed just why their pace attack is considered the most fearsome in the world.
A testament to the quality was Ngidi, who became only the sixth Proteas pacer to pick a five-wicket haul in his debut Test.
Indian, in contrast, embarrassed themselves. The team had been reduced to 87/7 at one stage, looking firmly down the barrel.
The debacle is Kohli’s first as full-time captain even though he did well with the bat in this match, scoring 153 in the first innings.