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
- 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
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