Vastavam web: Indomitable at home, India’s batsmen capitulated in the face of South Africa’s menacing pace attack to suffer a 135-run drubbing in the second Test here today, ending a nine-series unbeaten run for Virat Kohli’s world No.1 side.After the 72-run loss in the opening Test, the margin got bigger here as the visitors handed the home side a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.Debutant Lungi Ngidi was the newest fast-bowling nemesis that India discovered as he snared six scalps for a mere 39 runs in 12.2 overs. Ngidi collected the man of the match award for his phenomenal debut show, which also included the prized wicket of Kohli in the second innings.
It was a revenge of sorts for Faf du Plessis’ men, who had been blanked 3-0 by hosts India in 2015. The defeat ended the aura of invincibility that the Indian team had attained in the last one year, thanks largely to big wins registered in friendly sub-continental dustbowls.Lance Klusener (8/62 vs India in 1996), Charles Langeveldt (5/46 vs England in 2005), Vernon Philander (5/15 vs Australia in 2011), Merchant de Lange (7/81 vs Sri Lanka in 2011) and Kyle Abbott (7/29 vs Pakistan in 2013) are part of the illustrious club.Indian, in contrast, embarrassed themselves. The team had been reduced to 87/7 at one stage, looking firmly down the barrel.
Starting from overnight 35/3, it was another horrific first hour of play for the visitors.After his suicidal run-out in the first innings, Pujara became the first Indian batsman to be run-out twice in the same Test.Three overs later, Parthiv Patel (19) pulled Kagiso Rabada (3-47) and a flying Morne Morkel took a brilliant catch at the deep square leg boundary.Hardik Pandya (6) added 18 runs with Rohit (47 runs, 74 balls, 6 fours, 1 six). But then played a poor stroke off Ngidi in an attempt to lift the ball over slip cordon.Mohammed Shami (28 runs, 24 balls, 5 fours) though provided a ray of hope. He put on 54 runs off 61 balls with Rohit for the eighth wicket. In doing so, the duo pushed India past 100 in the 39th over.
Just ahead of the scheduled lunch break, in the 48th over, Rohit was caught in the deep off Rabada as the morning session was extended.Two overs later, the burly pacer also accounted for Jasprit Bumrah (2) and subjected India to an embarrassing loss.Ishant Sharma (4) was the last man standing for the visitors, who will have quite a few matters to resolve before the third and final Test in Johannesburg, which starts on January 24.