India thumped South Africa 3-0 in the four-match Test series and lifted the coveted Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela trophy at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Monday in New Delhi.
This Team India under the able leadership of Virat Kohli are en route to new heights in the longest format of the game. After this outstanding victory against Proteas, Kohli & co. have been lauded for their heroics.
South Africa broke down every single time in this recently concluded Test series because the Indian spinners tried to wear them down with attrition.
Cricket is definitely a team game and India did not win this Test series only because of the spinners. In a series where runflow just took a u-turn, few batsmen also showed their class like Ajinkya Rahane, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Murali Vijay to some extent.
For the first time in a decade, South Africa struggled against India in a Test series in the sub continent. But the visitors too did have some positives to look back at after they head home for their upcoming series.
Let us look back at the top five moments from the India vs South Africa Freedom Test series:
1. Return of 'Sir Ravindra Jadeja' - The Saurashtra lad who was left out of the Indian Test team after a string of poor performances bounced back quite unbelievably and scripted a dream comeback in the first Test. He bagged the man of the match for picking up eight wickets in two innings. He also contributed with the bat when India needed him the most in the first Test at Mohali where the ball turned square from the very first day. Proteas batsmen struggled against the crafty left-armer throughout the series after that. He formed an incredible incredible partnership with the ball with Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra in this Test series. For sure, he has marked his return to the longest format of the game!
2. AB de Villiers' 100th Test match: Cricket's Mr 360 degrees as he is popularly known as walked out in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore during the second Test match. It was not very difficult to decipher that De Villiers had won the heart of all the cricket crazy fans in India. He was welcomed at the pitch with a loud roar from the stands. When the other Proteas batsmen could not withstand the pressure exerted by the spin trio -- Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra -- De Villiers went on to score 85 runs in the first innings. He could have scored a ton in his 100th Test match engraved his name forever in the history books but Ashwin got the better of him.
3. Critics slam Nagpur pitch after India routs South Africa in three days: Indian spinners were relentless and their attrition tore the South African batting lineup in both the innings in the third Test at Nagpur. South Africa were bundled for a meagre total of 79 runs in their first innings of the third Test. Ashwin bagged seven wickets in the second innings and powered India to the series win. The critics lashed out at the curators for making pitches that provided massive assistance to the Indian spinners. Even South Africa consisted of spinners but they came only fourth after Ashwin Jadeja and Amit Mishra. That made the curators think a little more before making the Delhi pitch.
4. Ajinkya Rahane's twin ton in the fourth Test match: Only four Indian batsmen could achieve this feat before and Rahane became the fifth one to do so. He also became the first Indian batsmen in the history of Test cricket to have scored two centuries in one Test match against South Africa. Rahane powered India's total past the 300 run mark in the first innings of the fourth Test match in New Delhi with a resilient ton. The Delhi-boy yet again pulled India's batting lineup along with skipper Virat Kohli and gave them a lead of 480 runs.
5. Hashim Amla-AB de Villiers Blockathon: India might have won the Test series comprehensively, but these two Proteas batsmen won our hearts for sure. They brought back the memories of the good old classic Test match cricket. Can you believe that AB de Villiers missed out on breaking Trevor Bailey's record for the slowest fifty at the Gabba in the 1958-59 Ashes? No right? Amla and De Villiers frustrated the crowd and the Indian bowlers in New Delhi. But Kohli & co. were relentless and they didn't stop attacking. At one point it did look like Amla and De Villiers would successfully achieve that draw but Jadeja removed Amla with a peach of a delivery.