Even though the series was over in Hobart, the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Adelaide carried plenty of significance. For the hosts, a positive outing was necessary to overturn what had been a dreadful start to the summer. Meanwhile, the Proteas were eager to give a befitting riposte to the ball-tampering allegation which was threatening to steal the limelight from their third consecutive series victory on Australian soil.
Above all, the visitors were playing their maiden day-night Test and needed to adapt quickly to the pink ball. Despite skipper Faf du Plessis’ resolute ton, as well as a brave declaration, South Africa found themselves chasing the match right from the outset. Riding on Usman Khawaja’s stellar century and a collective bowling performance, Australia cruised to a consolation victory.
Here are some of the interesting statistics from the enthralling contest.
0 – Instances wherein Australia have been whitewashed in a home Test series comprising of three or more matches. They have been blanked only once in a 2-Test series at home against England in 1887.
1 – Faf du Plessis has etched his name in history books by becoming the first captain to score a century in day-night Tests as well as the first batsman to achieve the feat in Australia.
2 – David Warner's second-innings run out was his second of the series. Prior to this series, he had been run out only once during 100 innings.
2 – Instances of two debutants remaining not out in a successful run-chase in Tests. Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb have followed in the foot-steps of WG Grace and Frank Penn in 1880.
4 – Number of times when a team has declared before stumps on the first day of a Test match. The previous instance was in Hyderabad when Michael Clarke declared Australia’s first-innings at 237/9 against India in 2013.
5 – Josh Hazlewood managed to dismiss Hashim Amla in all five innings in this series. No other bowler has sent back the accomplished South African more than four times in a series.
7 – Fifty-plus scores for Khawaja in home Tests. The elegant left-hander has crossed the fifty-mark at least once in each of his six home Tests since returning to the team (from January 2015).
12 – Consecutive Tests in which Australia have used a different playing eleven from their previous one.
20 – Number of wickets for Mitchell Starc in the first over of an innings across all the three international formats since the start of 2015. The next best by any bowler in this period is only seven.
35 – Number of years after which Australia have offered debuts to five or more cricketers in a single series. They had given five debuts during the 1981 Ashes in England.