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

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

Shiva Jayaraman

December 30, 2013

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn share a laugh after India are bowled out, South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day, December 29, 2013
South Africa's fast bowlers have taken 133 wickets at 20.36 in 2013. © Getty Images
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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

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Posted by 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).....

Posted by 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.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by android_user 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.

Posted by android_user 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

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