Cape Town – Dean Elgar, perhaps currently nursing a headache related both to a personal concussion and South Africa’s collectively dismal Test series showing in India, notched the most runs for the Proteas in the 0-3 whitewash.
His 232 came across the span of six innings -- though one was cut short by his nasty head blow in the final Test at Ranchi -- at an average of 46.40.
Even then, the decent enough return was due in no small measure to a single innings: his 160 in the first clash at Visakhapatnam.
But just how depressingly dominant the Indians were in the series was reflected in the fact that even the gutsy left-hander’s SA show-topping effort was dwarfed by the hugely superior showings of three Indian stroke-players.
Rohit Sharma had an absolute field day – make that days, more accurately -- against the consistently ineffectual Proteas attack, amassing 529 runs at a giddying 132.25, while captain Virat Kohli wasn’t too far behind him with 317, though at a superior average of 158.50.
Mayank Agarwal, meanwhile, also overshadowed Elgar with his 340 series tally.
Just as soberingly, South Africa compiled a total of 1,381 runs across their six completed team innings (they were all out each time): between Sharma, Kohli and Agarwal alone, came 1,186 runs with each player taking guard only four times in the series, for good measure.
The bowling gap in standards was no less painful.
Whereas the Proteas’ top wicket-taker was paceman Kagiso Rababa with seven at 40.71, India had as many as four bowlers bagging bigger series hauls: Ravichandran Ashwin (15 at 25.26) was their most successful spinner in dismissals terms, while Mohammed Shami was the most regular pace-related nuisance in the wickets column with 13 at 14.76.
Rabada was also comfortably eclipsed by Ravindra Jadeja (13) and Umesh Yadav (11).
The statistics shown below will also confirm just how increasingly, violently less competitive South Africa have become in Indian-hosted Test series over the course of the last dozen years or so, based on the Proteas’ averages there.
Here are the top three SA finishers in both the batting and bowling averages from the last four Test series in India:
2019/20: India 3 SA 0 (three Tests):
Batting: 1 Senuran Muthusamy 98 runs at 49.00, 2 Dean Elgar 232 runs at 46.40, 3 George Linde 64 runs at 32.00.
Bowling: 1 George Linde four wickets at 33.35, 2 Kagiso Rabada seven wickets at 40.71, 3 Vernon Philander two wickets at 77.50.
2015/16: India 3 SA 0 (four Tests):
Batting: 1 AB de Villiers 258 runs at 36.85, 2 Temba Bavuma 56 runs at 28.00, 3 Dean Elgar 137 runs at 19.57.
Bowling: 1 Kyle Abbott six wickets at 17.50, 2 Vernon Philander three wickets at 20.33, 3 Morne Morkel nine wickets at 20.66.
2009/10: India 1 SA 1 (two Tests):
Batting: 1 Hashim Amla 490 runs at 490.00 (three innings, only one dismissal), 2 Jacques Kallis 203 runs at 67.66, 3 Alviro Petersen 121 runs at 60.50.
Bowling: 1 Dale Steyn 11 wickets at 20.27, 2 Paul Harris five wickets at 59.40, 3 Morne Morkel four wickets at 59.50.
2007/08: India 1 SA 1 (three Tests):
Batting: 1 Neil McKenzie 341 runs at 85.25, 2 AB de Villiers 304 runs at 76.00, 3 Hashim Amla 307 runs at 61.40.
Bowling: 1 Dale Steyn 15 wickets at 20.20, 2 Makhaya Ntini 10 wickets at 24.20, 3 Morne Morkel eight wickets at 31.75.
*Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar, with one wicket each in negligible spells, nominally topped the SA bowling averages from the 2015/16 and 2019/20 tours respectively: they were omitted for purposes of this exercise.
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