India vs South Africa 2019: 3 decisions that paid off for India in the Test series
India whitewashed South Africa in the three-match Test series to continue as table toppers of the ICC World Test Championship. After registering a 203-run victory in the first Test at Visakhapatnam, India outplayed the Proteas in the rest of the series by ticking all the right boxes. They demolished them in the subsequent Tests with innings victories (by 137 runs in the second Test at Pune and by 202 runs in the third Test at Ranchi).
In contrast to India's clinical outings, South Africa failed to create any foundation for themselves. The captaincy errors of Faf du Plessis let the team down whenever South Africa had a chance of making a comeback. The poor performances of other players too made things difficult for them, ultimately costing them the series.
Practically every move that India made in the series, produced results. Here are three such decisions that paid off for India in the series:
#1 The decision to open with Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal
India had been searching for a formidable opening pair since the exit of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. After trying several combinations, they finally zeroed in on Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal and assigned them the responsibility to face the red cherry against the Proteas.
The Rohit-Agarwal pair grabbed the opportunity with both hands and put up a record partnership of 317 runs for the first wicket in their very first outing together. The duo took time to settle in but later attacked the bowlers, showing the class they possess.
Agarwal converted his maiden ton into a classy double, while Rohit smashed centuries in both the innings of the first Test.
The two continued their fine form throughout the series. Agarwal registered another hundred with his sublime batting in the second Test on a bouncy wicket at Pune while Rohit compensated for his failure in the second Test with a brilliant double hundred (212 runs off 255 balls) at Ranchi.
Rohit and Agarwal have not only cemented their place in the playing XI but also seem to have ended India's long search for a solid opening pair.
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