A SIXTH test century – and maiden double – for Rohit Sharma saw India pile on the agony for South Africa’s bowlers as they declared on another mammoth total of 497-9 at tea on the second day of the third test at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi yesterday.
Rohit reached 212 from only 255 deliveries with 28 fours and half a dozen sixes before top-edging a hook to fine leg against Kagiso Rabada where Lungi Ngidi took the catch. Rohit reached both his century and double with sixes, a hook shot against Ngidi sailing over square leg to take him to 200.
Left arm spinner George Linde collected two more wickets in the middle session to finish with 4-133 but also suffered a humiliating assault by No 9 Umesh Yadav who smashed him for five sixes in just nine balls before top edging the bowler to ‘keeper Heinrich Klaasen and departing for 31 from just 10 deliveries.
Linde also bowled Wriddhiman Saha with an excellent arm ball and there was a consolation wicket for offspinner Dane Piedt who had Ravi Ashwin stumped for 14 to finish with 1-101 from 18 overs.
Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the attack with 23-7-85-3.
The tourists claimed just a single wicket in the morning session when Linde was fortunate to find the edge of Ajinkya Rahane’s bat attempting a late cut. The right-hander departed for 115 from 192 balls (17×4, 1×6) after a fourth-wicket stand of 267.
Although all of South Africa’s bowlers suffered and looked inadequate Piedt was treated with a special level of disdain by Rohit in particular although he should have had Rohit stumped on 176 but Klaasen fumbled the attempt.
Rohit’s 212 was the third double Indian double century of the series following Mayank Agarwal (215) in the first test and Virat Kohli (254*) in the second.
South Africa made five changes to their starting XI with Quinton de Kock playing as a specialist opening batsman and Klaasen keeping wicket. Left arm spinner Linde is making his debut while Piedt was recalled in place of Senuran Muthusamy and Ngidi was preferred to Vernon Philander.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (capt), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi