India duly wrapped up the second Test and with it the series, half an hour after tea on the fourth day, as South Africa’s batsmen capitulated in the second innings in Pune on Sunday.
India won by an innings and 137 runs, as the Proteas were bowled out for 189 in the second innings to win the series with one match to spare. As good as the Indians were throughout the match, it was also a terrible display from the Proteas on a pitch to which their players should have been suited. Unlike 2015, when a desperate Indian team demanded spinning tracks, in Pune the pitch had lots of pace and bounce and was more reminiscent of a surface one would expect on the Highveld.
South Africa’s bowlers missed two windows of opportunity - the first on the opening morning on Thursday, when besides the pace and bounce, there was also plenty of movement off the seam - and again with the second new ball on the second morning on Friday, to make in-roads into the Indian batting order.
They didn’t and first Mayank Argarwal and then Virat Kohl and Ravi Jadejai put the tourists to the sword as they racked up 601/5 declared. India’s vice-captain, Ajinkye Rahane somewhat cheekily claimed that it wasn’t a 600-run pitch, and having allowed India 100 runs more than they’d anticipated in their first innings, South Africa were left physically, mentally and spiritually, broken.
Faf du Plessis, said his players were exhausted after two days in the field, and that was reflected in the loss of three wickets in the last hour of play on the second evening. It was an uphill struggle from there and South Africa were never able to make that ascent.