India Clean Sweeps Freedom Series with a 3-0 Test Series Win against South Africa
As a part of the South Africa tour of India, 3 T20Is and 3 Tests were scheduled from the 15th of September to the 23rd of October. With one match of the T20Is being abandoned and each team winning one of the remaining two, the T20Is couldn’t offer a significant result in the series. The test matches began from October 2nd and India has dominated the visiting team in all three of them.
The first test took place in Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. India 502 runs and South Africa scored 431 in the first innings. Dean Elgar and Quinton De Kock were the highest scorers in South African innings with 160 and 111 runs each. Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma stood out as the top scorers in the first innings with 215 and 176 runs each.
In the second innings, India scored 323 runs and managed to take all the wickets of the South African team for a score of 191 emerging as the victor. Rohit Sharma scored 127 runs again in the second innings and Cheteshwar Pujara scored 81 runs becoming the highest contributors to the Indian victory. Rohit Sharma won the player of the match award in this test.
The second test was played in Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune in which India won by an innings and 137 runs. Virat Kohli scored a magnificent 254 runs in the first innings with Mayank Agarwal being the second-highest scorer with 108 runs and Ravindra Jadeja following with 91 runs. India ended the 1st innings with 601 runs at a loss of 5 wickets.
South Africa batted next and scored 275 runs before losing all the wickets. Faf Du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj were the highest scorers with 64 and 72 runs each. The team had to bat next immediately since they were trail by 326 runs and they scored 189 in the before losing all wickets making India Victorious. Virat Kohli won the player of the match in this test.
The third test which happened in JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi, also took the same turn as the one before. India scored a total of 497 runs in which Rohit Sharma scored a double Century (212 runs) winning the Player of the Match award for the second time in the series. Ajinkya Rahane scored 115 and Ravindra Jadeja stood third-highest scorer with 51 runs. The Proteas team that had batted next was all out for a meager total of 162 in the first innings and then for 133 in the second innings. India stood victorious by an innings and 202 runs, thereby clean-sweeping the series with 3 -0.
Along with offering great entertainment for the two countries, the series also harbored several world record breaks.
- With his two double centuries in single bilateral series, Rohit Sharma broke the record for most sixes in a bilateral series which was previously held by Shimron Hetmeyer’s for his 15 sixes against Bangladesh.
- He also broke twin records-
- One for hitting most sixes in a test match (13) which was set by Wasim Akram (12) against Zimbabwe.
- The other is most sixes by an Indian in a test match which was previously held by Navjot Singh Sidhu for his 8 sixes in a Test against Sri Lanka in Lucknow.
- Rohit Sharma also became the first man to score two hundreds in a maiden test as an opener. He scored 176 in the first innings and 127 in the second.
- He also broke the record of Wessels (Australia) for scoring the most runs (303) while opening for the first time in tests. Wessels scored 208 runs against England in 1982-83.
- With this series, Rohit Sharma also surpassed Don Bradman’s Test average at Home. Don Bradman’s average was 98.22 at home while Rohit Sharma’s average rose to 99.84 with his 212 runs that comprised 28 fours and 6 sixes.
- This is India’s third series Whitewash in Virat Kohli’s captaincy. With this, Virat Kohli dethroned Md. Azharuddin as the Indian Captain to have the most series whitewashes.