The Indian batting unit was not up to its free-flowing best but thanks to Rishabh Pant, they managed to set South Africa a target of 212 to get in the final innings of the Cape Town Test to win the series. India, resuming their innings at 57/2 were bowled out for 198 with Pant waging a lone battle with an unbeaten century.
However, a bizarre trivia emerged as India’s second innings came to an end. As soon as Marco Jansen dismissed Jasprit Bumrah to dismiss them under 200, commentators on air pointed out a strange trivia. This is the first time in the long and decorated history of Test cricket that all 20 batsmen from a team were dismissed out caught in a match. Yes, not one of India’s wickets to fall was to an LBW or bowled. Each batsman was out caught in both innings.
Previously, there have been five instances of 19 batsmen falling to catches. The first time it happened was in 1982/83 to England against Australia in Brisbane. Pakistan suffered the same fate against the Aussies in Sydney during the 2009/10 tour, while England were at the receiving end it once more during the 2013/14 Ashes at Brisbane – the series dominated by Mitchell Johnson. South Africa too have been part of it against England in Cape Town in 2019/20 while it happened to India as well – also against the Proteas during the tour of 2010/11.
However, what transpired on Thursday was never witnessed before. Former South Africa pacer Shaun Pollock on air said: ‘It’s unheard of. Something we don’t see everyday. How often do you see a team losing 20 wickets in a Test match and all of them to catches?” he said at the end of the Indian innings.
Jansen led the way with 4/36 whereas Rabada and Ngidi grabbed three each. Most of the Indian wickets to fall were caught behind with Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar and wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne completing two catches each. As many as eight Indian batters were dismissed in single digits, with Virat Kohli’s 29 being the second-highest score behind Pant’s 100 not out. Remarkable indeed.