Virat Kohli (R) was ecstatic following India's win in 3rd Test    AFP
Virat Kohli (R) was ecstatic following India’s win in 3rd Test AFP

India, by virtue of their 63-run victory versus South Africa, remained unbeaten at Wanderers, Johannesburg. They win surely tested India’s temperament after conceding the series 0-2 in the three-match series. Nonetheless, they fought hard amidst pitch-debate, rain interruption and Dean Elgar’s gutsy 86 not out. Virat Kohli rightly lauded his side’s determination to hang in there when the going got tough. In addition, he credited the pace battery for taking 60 wickets throughout the course of the series.

In the post-match presentation, Kohli said, “We required some character on a pitch that was very difficult to play on but our guys showed great guts and determination throughout the few days. We took the challenge head-on. Batting first didn’t go down well with a lot of people but we knew that it’ll get difficult to bat on later. Hats off to the team for showing character after the series was gone. ”

Electing to bat on a green top, India managed 187. It looked like a total close to 300 when South Africa came out to bat. The pitch produced prodigious bounce and extra pace to pose enough questions in the batsmen’s minds. South Africa managed 194, taking a seven-run lead. In reply, India fought the demons in the pitch and gave a fitting 241-run target. Eventually, they won the contest by bundling out Proteas for 177.

Nonetheless, Day Four looked more batsmen-friendly. Hashim Amla and Elgar stitched a 119-run stand to test India pacers’ patience. The pitch had eased out, but India responded magnificently following Amla’s departure. From 136 for 3, South Africa managed 177 all-out.

Speaking about the concerns during Amla-Elgar partnership, Kohli pointed out, “We knew we were close in the first two games. It’s a funny game. You think of many ways to get a batsmen out. Amla and Elgar played well. They got stuck in and you expect that from a side like South Africa. In pressure situations, when wickets go down in Test cricket, it’s very difficult to come back.”

Kohli concluded by adding, “The bowlers were the biggest positive to come out of the series; we haven’t taken 60 wickets in the past. If the batsmen step up, we can do well away from home. We want to correct certain mistakes with the bat. That lower-order showed character. This win feels really great. You need confident bowlers to win Test matches. As batsmen, if we can think about countering conditions more, prepare better, and take our catches, I’m sure we can do well away from home.”

India’s next overseas assignment will be a riveting five-match Test series versus England.