In a Test where batting was challenging from the very first ball, India secured a seven-wicket win to draw level with South Africa. The batting unit never came together, but the bowlers were right on the money in the second Test to ensure that India didn’t face the same embarrassment they faced in the last two tours.
"A great feat," Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation ceremony. "In Centurion, we had to learn from the mistakes we made in that Test. We came back pretty well, especially our bowlers. Even though the conditions were tough for batters, you still had to put the ball in the right areas. Had some plans as to what we wanted to do and the boys got rewarded for it. We applied ourselves, we batted really well to get a 100-run lead, not pleasing to see the last six wickets. We knew that it's going to be a short game, we knew every run matters, to get that first innings lead was very important for us."
The last time India toured South Africa was back in 2021. After winning the first Test comfortably, they were in a pole position to secure the series honors but things turned out pretty differently. India eventually lost the series 2-1. Rohit Sharma, who wasn’t a part of that series, stated that his side takes a lot of pride in winning Test matches outside of India - something they will continue to focus on.
"In the last 4-5 years, we have become a very good travelling team. We've played a lot of good cricket outside India, we take a lot of pride in performance outside India. We would have liked to win the series. You cannot get everything. South Africa is a great team, they always challenge us, and that's probably the reason we have not won a series. They are such a good cricket team. To come and win like this, we can take a lot of pride from this performance." the Indian skipper added.
This was the last Test for Dean Elgar, who led South Africa in his farewell Test in the absence of regular skipper Temba Bavuma. Even though the last match didn't go as planned, Elgar signed off on a great note, having scored 185 in the first Test of the series. A gritty player, who valued his wicket, Elgar was praised by his Indian counterpart, who also presented him with a signed jersey.
"Such an important player for South Africa, what he's done throughout his career for South Africa, only few have done that. Very gritty. His wicket - we only spoke about how we want to get him out quickly. For someone to have a career like that, we do appreciate it, all of us. I'd like to wish him the best for the future. You don't get to see a player like that every now and then. Brilliant career, best wishes ahead," Rohit added.