Kohli scores tough runs
On a pitch that was extremely difficult to bat on for most of the day - and misbehaved enough to trigger an official discussion on whether it was safe enough to continue playing on - Virat Kohli made 41 runs from 79 deliveries to help India along to a total that gave them the chance to score an elusive away win and only their third Test win in South Africa. During the course of the innings he went past MS Dhoni and Sunil Gavaskar to become India's highest scoring Test captain. He has made 3456 runs at 65.20 in Tests while leading India.
Early in his innings, Kohli was hit on the thumb while playing forward to a ball that climbed off a length from Kagiso Rabada. However, that didn't stop the India captain from getting on to the front during the course of the rest of his stay at the crease: off the rest of the 40 balls that were bowled at him on full or good lengths, Kohli played forward to at least 17 balls. Kohli made 27 runs off 47 balls off those lengths at a strike rate of 57.44. On a pitch that troubled the batsmen with unpredictable bounce off full and good lengths, Kohli batted well to return a control percentage of 72.34% off those lengths.
Kohli's tally of 95 runs in this Test took his aggregate for the series to 286 runs - the second-most scored by an India batsman in a series in South Africa. No India captain has made as many runs as Kohli has in this series. Before Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar's 241 runs in three matches in 1996-97 were the highest by an India captain in a series in South Africa.
Rahane makes it look easy
Sat out of the first two Tests of the series, Rahane came in to bat with India 93 runs ahead. He looked the most comfortable batsman on the third day, scoring rapidly off lengths that were troubling batsmen at the other end. Rahane faced 33 deliveries pitched on full and good lengths, and was in control of his shots a whopping 90.00% of the time - easily the best control shown by any of the India batsmen.
The ball perhaps jagged around a little less as the overs progressed, but even while Kohli was fighting hard at the other end, Rahane looked in control playing off balls that were pitch on full and good lengths.
Bhuvneshwar contributes with the bat again
Bhuvneshwar Kumar added 33 runs to his crucial contribution of 30 runs in the first innings making him only the second India batsman in this match to get 30 or more runs in both innings. In a series in which batsmen have struggled to put together meaningful partnerships, his 55-run stand with Rahane in India's second innings was the second time he added 50 or more runs with a partner in these Tests. Out of the six fifty-plus stands India have had in the series, only Kohli has been involved in more such stands. In fact, Bhuvneshwar has faced more balls per dismissal in this series than any other India batsman. In four innings that he has batted, Bhuvneshwar has faced 252 balls, getting dismissed three times.