South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 5th day December 30, 2013

Second-fastest to 350 and 14 series unbeaten

Stats highlights from the fifth day's play of the Durban Test between South Africa and India
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  • South Africa have now gone 14 series without defeat - their longest unbeaten streak and the joint-third-longest by any team in Tests. Only Australia (16 series) and West Indies (29) have gone longer without a series loss. In their last 25 series, South Africa have lost only once.

  • By beating India at Kingsmead, South Africa ended a sequence of four consecutive defeats at the venue. Their last win in Durban was against West Indies in 2008.

  • Ishant Sharma's wicket in India's second innings was Dale Steyn's 350th in Tests. He became the joint second-quickest to the mark, in terms of number of Tests. Steyn equalled Richard Hadlee in getting to 350 in his 69th Test. Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 66 Tests, is the fastest bowler to 350 wickets in Tests. Steyn, incidentally, reached 350 wickets in 9 years and 9 days, which is exactly how long it took Murali as well.

  • Steyn has now taken 350 wickets at 22.90 and his strike rate of 42 is the best among bowlers with more than 200 wickets.

  • South Africa's fast bowling was clearly the difference between the teams in this series. Their fast bowlers took 30 wickets at 26.93 as opposed to the 18 wickets at 51.00 by India's fast bowlers. South Africa's spinners did slightly better than their India counterparts, taking nine wickets at 45.88 while India's managed six wickets at 50.66 apiece.

  • South Africa's fast bowlers ended 2013 with 133 wickets at an average of 20.36. This is their second-best year as a pace attack since readmission, behind 1996, when they took 67 wickets at 18.01.

  • The 14 dismissals that AB de Villiers collected are the joint second highest by a wicketkeeper in a two-match series, after Kamran Akmal's 15 dismissals against West Indies in 2005. De Villiers also contributed with the bat, scoring 190 runs at 63.33. His all-round performance won him his Test career's third Man-of-the-Series award, making him the wicketkeeper to have won most such awards along with Adam Gilchrist.

  • The six wickets that India's spinners took is the second fewest they have taken in a two-Test series outside the subcontinent, behind the five wickets they took in New Zealand in 2002-03.

  • India's top six batsmen averaged 44.78 in the series, which was their highest in South Africa. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane all scored 200-plus runs in the series, the first time three India players scored 200 or more in a Test series in South Africa since 1996-97, when Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly achieved it, albeit in a three-Test series.

  • Pujara's total of 280 runs in the series is the second-highest by an India batsman in South Africa, after Tendulkar's 326 runs from three Tests in 2010-11. Pujara also managed to outscore India's previous No. 3, Rahul Dravid, whose highest aggregate in a Test series in this country was 277 in 1996-97.

  • Hashim Amla managed just 43 runs from three innings at an average of 14.33. This is his worst series, both in terms of total runs and average, since his first two Test series in 2004.

  • Ajinkya Rahane's 96, in India second innings, is his highest score in Tests and his second fifty of the series.

  • While South Africa's tail wagged, making valuable contributions to their team's totals in this series, India's last four batsmen hardly put up a fight. They scored 73 runs at 5.61 as opposed to South Africa's, who made 211 runs at 35.16. The Indian tail's average is their lowest in any series, from a minimum of ten innings.

  • Before dismissing Pujara in the first innings of this Test, Steyn had conceded 227 runs and had only taken one wicket, of Shikhar Dhawan in the first innings of the first Test. After Dhawan's dismissal he bowled 69.2 overs without a wicket. Pujara's wicket changed everything. Steyn's figures since then read 9 for 85.

Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Definitely the best pace attack in the world. With Amla a little out of form and Kallis' departure, it could be just the way in for Aus. However, you can't imagine that Amla will be out of the runs for any longer than a 2 match series and the way that ABDV is batting, the middle order is still going to be a tough nut to crack. Aus have a good record in SA, but they'll be doing seriously well to get a result in Feb/Mar. Also think the extra pace of Johnson and Harris will massively dent the above stat for tail end averages, but will most likely be rendered irrelevant as that could well be the Aus top order averages such is the quality of SAs bowling attack! Gee Kallis will be missed. I'd have loved to see him in this series against Aus. What a magnificent cricketer who will no doubt be sorely missed by all. The last of the playing greats...

  • highveldhillbilly on January 2, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    @RibhavBansal - wow you must be feeling like a fool. The Sri Lankan board canceled the test series against SA mid 2013 and asked for an ODI series (probably to increase their revenue).....

  • Testcricketistop on January 1, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    @adee Amjad. You are correct, but the author is referring to AB as a wicket keeper. He became the SA wicket keeper in June 1012 when Boucher had to retire.

  • on December 31, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    @BillyCC: Steyn got much better strike rate than mcgrath.

  • BillyCC on December 31, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @Xolile, Steyn vs McGrath is a better comparison and by your rationale, McGrath walks into any All Time Test XI before Steyn. Although Steyn can no doubt improve that average. Once he gets to an average in the 21s, then yes, I think he will be the greatest fast bowler of all time. Let's see what it looks like when he retires. The comparison with Lillee is interesting and I agree with you. Most people like to include his World Series record, which is pretty impressive.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 31, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Does anyone noticed that India draw series 3 times in India and 1 time at SA. And they are the only team did so other than Australia's series victory! No wonder SA played for safer side in the 1st test to avoid series leveling.

  • on December 31, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    RibhavBansal - it was Sri Lanka board that cancelled SA test tour to SL in 2013 and replaced it with onedayers.

  • on December 31, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    RibhavBansal - it was Sri Lankan board that cancelled SA test tour to SL in 2013 and replaced with onedayers.

  • BellCurve on December 31, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Modern batsmen benefit from helmets, arm guards, chest guards and all sorts of other protective gear. They also benefit from fat bats with huge sweet spots. As a result, bowling averages have been creeping upwards. Despite all of this, Steyn has managed to get to 350 wickets faster than any fast bolwer in history. He also has the best strike rate in the 200+ club. Any rational student of the game has to conclude that Styen is better than Lillee. Surely? Provided that he can keep this up for another 2-3 years, Steyn should walk into any All Time Test XI.

  • RibhavBansal on December 31, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    South Africa's record is commendable for being unbeaten in the last 25 series, but one shouldnt forget their hesitation in touring Sri Lanka. The last time they toured Sri Lanka was in 2003-04, almost 10 years back. It is amazing the ICC or Sri Lankan board is quite about this, the Sri Lankans have toured South africa twice in the same duration.

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Definitely the best pace attack in the world. With Amla a little out of form and Kallis' departure, it could be just the way in for Aus. However, you can't imagine that Amla will be out of the runs for any longer than a 2 match series and the way that ABDV is batting, the middle order is still going to be a tough nut to crack. Aus have a good record in SA, but they'll be doing seriously well to get a result in Feb/Mar. Also think the extra pace of Johnson and Harris will massively dent the above stat for tail end averages, but will most likely be rendered irrelevant as that could well be the Aus top order averages such is the quality of SAs bowling attack! Gee Kallis will be missed. I'd have loved to see him in this series against Aus. What a magnificent cricketer who will no doubt be sorely missed by all. The last of the playing greats...

  • highveldhillbilly on January 2, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    @RibhavBansal - wow you must be feeling like a fool. The Sri Lankan board canceled the test series against SA mid 2013 and asked for an ODI series (probably to increase their revenue).....

  • Testcricketistop on January 1, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    @adee Amjad. You are correct, but the author is referring to AB as a wicket keeper. He became the SA wicket keeper in June 1012 when Boucher had to retire.

  • on December 31, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    @BillyCC: Steyn got much better strike rate than mcgrath.

  • BillyCC on December 31, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @Xolile, Steyn vs McGrath is a better comparison and by your rationale, McGrath walks into any All Time Test XI before Steyn. Although Steyn can no doubt improve that average. Once he gets to an average in the 21s, then yes, I think he will be the greatest fast bowler of all time. Let's see what it looks like when he retires. The comparison with Lillee is interesting and I agree with you. Most people like to include his World Series record, which is pretty impressive.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 31, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Does anyone noticed that India draw series 3 times in India and 1 time at SA. And they are the only team did so other than Australia's series victory! No wonder SA played for safer side in the 1st test to avoid series leveling.

  • on December 31, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    RibhavBansal - it was Sri Lanka board that cancelled SA test tour to SL in 2013 and replaced it with onedayers.

  • on December 31, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    RibhavBansal - it was Sri Lankan board that cancelled SA test tour to SL in 2013 and replaced with onedayers.

  • BellCurve on December 31, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Modern batsmen benefit from helmets, arm guards, chest guards and all sorts of other protective gear. They also benefit from fat bats with huge sweet spots. As a result, bowling averages have been creeping upwards. Despite all of this, Steyn has managed to get to 350 wickets faster than any fast bolwer in history. He also has the best strike rate in the 200+ club. Any rational student of the game has to conclude that Styen is better than Lillee. Surely? Provided that he can keep this up for another 2-3 years, Steyn should walk into any All Time Test XI.

  • RibhavBansal on December 31, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    South Africa's record is commendable for being unbeaten in the last 25 series, but one shouldnt forget their hesitation in touring Sri Lanka. The last time they toured Sri Lanka was in 2003-04, almost 10 years back. It is amazing the ICC or Sri Lankan board is quite about this, the Sri Lankans have toured South africa twice in the same duration.

  • on December 31, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    "Well everyone is a boss at their own home, so this defeat was almost expected" You boys have all the excuses when India lose eh ? * guess the majority of "14 series without defeat" happened in South Africa ?

    Look, just congratulate the real "1" in test cricket. Cannot believe a couple years ago you jokers were trying to convince everyone that India was number 1

  • on December 31, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    Dhoni please retire from Test.. u can just win test in india..or WI or ZIM .. no series win in AUS SL ENG SA.. ur brave at home only. as ur TEST CAPTAINCY RECORD read 50 test 26 win out of which 21 in india and 5 in abroad

  • on December 31, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Even SA's spinner performed better than Indian counterpart... This really exposed their weakness

  • on December 30, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    This series was the best advertisement for Test Cricket, someone should be ashamed for making it only two tests.

  • TRAM on December 30, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    The biggest lesson / secret India should learn is in 1. how Steyn managed his mind during his 69 wicket-less overs and 2. how he turned even better bowler. We know that he changed from mere outswing/straight variations to reverse in-swings with old balls later. Did the Indian bowlers even work on their tactics/skills when they went wicket-less? Did the captain or India bowling coach contribute anything, at all?

    Earlier I asked in one of my comments, why is Bhuvi branded as new ball bowler? Can he not be taught to bowl reverse swing with old ball? Can Shami & Bhuvi not teach each other their old/new ball swinging tricks respectively? If Steyn can learn new skills, why cant the new younger Indian bowlers? I very much wish Umesh & Aaron also learn the tricks from Shami and Bhuvi - instead of aiming for mere 140+ kph deliveries. Only by sharing the knowledge/skill they can share the bowling load, take rest regularly and avoid burning out.

  • on December 30, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Need to do a slight correction, it was AB Devilliers 4th man of the series award not 3rd. Here is the list: vs SL in 2011/12, vs Pak in feb 2013, vs Pak in Oct 2013, and this series vs India.

  • on December 30, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    so eager to see amir coming back to Pakistan team to show who got the best pace battery, apart from world's leading spin attack

  • on December 30, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Well everyone is a boss at their own home, so this defeat was almost expected, but just wished it did not happen, but it happened. Absolutely gutted with the performance. Team selection was right, everything was fine - the performers who HAD to perform, let the team down unfortunately.

  • on December 30, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    India has proven that they can only perform in their own yard.

  • tests_the_best on December 30, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Although the stats mention the fast bowling as the key difference, the other equally important stat is the second last point:

    "India's last four batsmen hardly put up a fight. They scored 73 runs at 5.61 as opposed to South Africa's, who made 211 runs at 35.16."

    This aspect is going to hurt India a lot on overseas tours.

  • tests_the_best on December 30, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Although the stats mention the fast bowling as the key difference, the other equally important stat is the second last point:

    "India's last four batsmen hardly put up a fight. They scored 73 runs at 5.61 as opposed to South Africa's, who made 211 runs at 35.16."

    This aspect is going to hurt India a lot on overseas tours.

  • on December 30, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    India has proven that they can only perform in their own yard.

  • on December 30, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Well everyone is a boss at their own home, so this defeat was almost expected, but just wished it did not happen, but it happened. Absolutely gutted with the performance. Team selection was right, everything was fine - the performers who HAD to perform, let the team down unfortunately.

  • on December 30, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    so eager to see amir coming back to Pakistan team to show who got the best pace battery, apart from world's leading spin attack

  • on December 30, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Need to do a slight correction, it was AB Devilliers 4th man of the series award not 3rd. Here is the list: vs SL in 2011/12, vs Pak in feb 2013, vs Pak in Oct 2013, and this series vs India.

  • TRAM on December 30, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    The biggest lesson / secret India should learn is in 1. how Steyn managed his mind during his 69 wicket-less overs and 2. how he turned even better bowler. We know that he changed from mere outswing/straight variations to reverse in-swings with old balls later. Did the Indian bowlers even work on their tactics/skills when they went wicket-less? Did the captain or India bowling coach contribute anything, at all?

    Earlier I asked in one of my comments, why is Bhuvi branded as new ball bowler? Can he not be taught to bowl reverse swing with old ball? Can Shami & Bhuvi not teach each other their old/new ball swinging tricks respectively? If Steyn can learn new skills, why cant the new younger Indian bowlers? I very much wish Umesh & Aaron also learn the tricks from Shami and Bhuvi - instead of aiming for mere 140+ kph deliveries. Only by sharing the knowledge/skill they can share the bowling load, take rest regularly and avoid burning out.

  • on December 30, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    This series was the best advertisement for Test Cricket, someone should be ashamed for making it only two tests.

  • on December 31, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Even SA's spinner performed better than Indian counterpart... This really exposed their weakness

  • on December 31, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    Dhoni please retire from Test.. u can just win test in india..or WI or ZIM .. no series win in AUS SL ENG SA.. ur brave at home only. as ur TEST CAPTAINCY RECORD read 50 test 26 win out of which 21 in india and 5 in abroad

  • on December 31, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    "Well everyone is a boss at their own home, so this defeat was almost expected" You boys have all the excuses when India lose eh ? * guess the majority of "14 series without defeat" happened in South Africa ?

    Look, just congratulate the real "1" in test cricket. Cannot believe a couple years ago you jokers were trying to convince everyone that India was number 1