It may have taken over nine years to occur but on Friday 27th November a top-ranked South Africa side lost an away Test series as they succumbed to defeat at the hands of India.
An inspired performance from spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, taking figures of 7-66, guided the hosts to a well earned victory with one match still to play, as they defeated the Proteas in a Test series for the first time in 11 years.
Beginning day three in Nagpur on 35-2, South Africa required a further 310 runs to maintain their impressive record on the road yet it didn’t take long for the Indian bowlers to dismantle the Proteas’ attack as they were all out for just 185 with two days to spare.
India have now won eight of their last nine home Tests, all of which have been concluded within three days.
Reviewing the game, there is no denying the reason why South Africa were unable to chase down their target, as they failed to deal with the spin bowlers in the home side’s arsenal.
All of the visitor’s 20 wickets in the game were taken by spin bowlers, with man-of-the-match Ashwin, taking 12 in total.
On day three he tore through the attack, dismissing Elgar (18), Van Zyl (five), de Villiers (nine), Duminy (19), Vilas (12), Rabada (six) and Morkel (four), to register his commendable figures.
Despite complaints about the state of the pitch, India captain, Virat Kohli, said it was all about ‘application’ when tackling such an obstacle.
“It was a challenging wicket, definitely,” he said. It’s all about application. You’ve just got to prepare accordingly, no excuses. Throughout the series you would have five to six good balls.
“Other than that it’s been mental blocks or bad shots from the batsmen.”
It is the fourth time in 31 Tests that Ashwin has taken 10 wickets. The final Test will take place in Delhi from Thursday 3rd to Monday 7th December.