Shattering records: 2021 becomes a year to remember for Team India

India won the first Test in South Africa by 113 runs, closing out a victory on the final day on Thursday by taking the last three wickets in the space of two overs right after lunch.

South Africa was all out for 191 in its second innings while chasing a daunting target of 305 at SuperSport Park.

It gave India a precious lead in the three-match series and the top-ranked team took a big step toward its goal of finally winning a test series in South Africa.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami took three wickets each in the final innings and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished it off with two wickets in two balls.

With this historic win, there were a lot of records broken along the way. For instance, 2021 is only the second time India have had won four Tests outside Asia in a calendar year (Brisbane in Australia, Lord’s and Oval in England, Centurion in South Africa). The only previous instance was in 2018 where they won in Johannesburg in South Africa, Nottingham in England, and Adelaide & Melbourne in Australia. This is also their best record in a year away from home.

Virat Kohli may not have been successful with the bat in this Test but he became the first Indian captain to win three boxing day test matches (2018, 2020 in Melbourne, and 2021 in Centurion). He also became the first Asian captain to win a Test match at Centurion.

This win also puts him in the fourth position of captains with the most Test victories (40) behind Graeme Smith (53), Ricky Ponting (48), Steve Waugh (41).

He also became the Asian captain with the most Test Wins in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia with 7. He is followed by Pakistan legends Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad, both of whom have 4 victories each.

Jasprit Bumrah, meanwhile, became the fastest to 100 overseas Test wickets for India. He did it in 23 matches.

Since re-admission, South Africa has been dismissed under 200 in each innings at home 3 times. 197 & 191 v India at the Centurion in 2021/22, 159 & 133 v Australia at Johannesburg in 2001/02, and 194 & 177 v India at Johannesburg in 2017/18.

With India’s Test victories in South Africa rarer than Halley’s comet, it would not be a surprising fact to point out that before their victory at the Centurion, Team India had only won three times in the Rainbow Nation (By 123 runs in Johannesburg at 2006/07, By 87 runs at Durban in 2010/11 and by 63 runs at Johannesburg in 2017/18.

The second test in Johannesburg starts on Monday (January 3) at 1.30 PM IST where India will look to wrap up the series.

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