The Un-freedom Series: 2 Down, 2 To Go

The second shortest Test match in India has just been completed, with just three sessions of play possible – actually, not even, because only 81 overs were bowled – between the hosts and South Africa at Bangalore before the next 4 days were washed out. 

If one had offered Virat Kohli and his team a 1-0 lead midway through the four-match test series, you’d think they would have gleefully accepted it – with Nagpur and Delhi to go. But the point is that Kohli and Co. were placed fantastically to take a 2-0 lead in the series, and to win their eighth consecutive test match in home conditions. It would be a little presumptuous, of course, to declare that the Proteas wouldn’t be able to come back after being bowled out for 214 – where, once again, the spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took eight wickets between them – and with India’s highest opening partnership in a while (80-0), with even Shikhar Dhawan finally finding form in the middle, it looked ominous for AB and his men, but they will be a bit relieved to have escaped three more days of spinning terror. 
 
 
Moreover, there is now a disruption in India’s momentum, because the third test begins on November 25th in Nagpur, a week from now. 
 
Let’s take a statistical look at where the teams stand after two matches. The numbers you see may or may not be true, but rest assured, they bear some semblance of truth in them.
 
   10: Number of days South Africa have lost to rain in their last four Tests (including the Bangladesh series).
    7: Consecutive wins for India at home before this win.
700+: Number of days ago India actually played a home test series, where Sachin Tendulkar played his final Test in Mumbai. 
 
    1: AB de Villier’s ICC ranking position, in both Tests and ODIs.
    1: Number of runs scored by his schoolmate Faf du Plessis in the two tests so far.
 55: AB’s average in the Test series so far.
    2: Fifties scored by AB de Villiers in the series so far.
    2: Number of ducks, in three innings, scored by Faf du Plessis so far. 
 
 
507: Total runs scored by South Africa in the first two Tests. 
556: Number of runs scored by David Warner in the first two Tests of the ongoing Trans-Tasman series.
  24: Number of wickets picked by Jadeja and Ashwin in the first two Tests, out of a total of 30.
  24: Number of hours it took for the team management to decide that Stuart Binny is a better option than third spinner Amit Mishra.
  25: Number of minutes it took for Mishra to secure bail in the ongoing domestic-abuse case, before the first Test. 
 
 
    1: Number of years it took Jadeja to break back into the Test team. 
  14: Ranking position of Jadeja as a bowler in the ICC Test rankings
  15: The number of people these rankings make sense to.
  64: Current ranking position of ‘Test batsman’ Gautam Gambhir
 
    6: Number of years Dale Steyn had played consecutive Tests for before sitting out in Bangalore. 
    6: Number of fans not chanting for ‘home player’ AB de Villiers in the Bangalore stadium.
  11: Number of South African players who watched the All-Stars USA game hoping for Jacques Kallis to show signs of an imminent comeback into the Test team.
 
 
 
 
 

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