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India's Jasprit Bumrah (right) successfully appeals for a leg before wicket decision against South African captain Dean Elgar during the fifth day of the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

India maintained their status as No 1 team in Tests by breaching another fortress in Centurion where South Africa had ruled from its inception.

Before the Boxing Day Test, South Africa had lost just two Tests and won 21. India, who had lost twice before at Centurion, became the third team to inflict defeat on the Proteas after England and Australia.

Eleven months ago, India had beaten Australia at the Gabba, which was their fortress since 1980. Not only did the Men in Blue won that Test, but they beat a strong Australian side without many of their main players. More importantly India managed to beat Australia without their ace captain Virat Kohli, who was on a paternity leave.

Since that famous Test win at Brisbane, India have continued their march till the end of year, winning eight Tests in 2021 and loosing only three. Kohli’s men managed to beat top sides like Australia, England and now South Africa all away from home. The only big blip was loosing to New Zealand in the World Test Championship final otherwise Kohli’s team have managed to stay on top of the Test table, which is testimony to India’s consistency in the longest format.

This is achieved in spite of India’s key middle order batters — Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane — not being among the runs, which proves that the bowlers have put their hands up time and again and made them win Tests at home and away.

If India manage to win the series against South Africa it will be another feather in Kohli’s captaincy, which no Indian captain has managed to do so far. And by the looks of it, India are the team to beat and are now world beaters in Tests.