India now top Test team after demolishing New Zealand
INDORE, India (AP):
India completed a comprehensive demolition of New Zealand yesterday, winning the third Test by a massive 321 runs within four days and completing a 3-0 series whitewash.
India's first innings 557-5 declared snatched the initiative and New Zealand, chasing an improbable 475 to win, collapsed to 153 all out against the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin, whose 7-59 added to his first-innings haul of 6-81, giving him 13 wickets in the game.
India won the series 3-0 after convincing wins in Kanpur and Kolkata earlier. They are now the number one ranked Test team.
Kane Williamson (27) and Martin Guptill (29) added 35 runs for the second wicket. Ashwin got the breakthrough as he trapped Williamson lbw. Ross Taylor (32) then added some quick runs, hitting five fours and a six in his 25-ball stay. Umesh Yadav (1-13) had trapped Tom Latham (6) lbw before tea.
Taylor was clean bowled by Ashwin and then the slide truly began as New Zealand lost their last seven wickets for 73 runs. Ravindra Jadeja (2-45) had James Neesham caught at short midwicket.
Ashwin bowled Luke Ronchi (15) and then ran through the tail. First he bowled Mitchell Santner (14) and Jeetan Patel (0) in quick succession. Matt Henry (0) holed out to mid-off then.
The game ended in the final over of the day as Trent Boult (4) offered a simple return catch to Ashwin.
This was a sixth 10-wicket haul in Test cricket for the off-spinner, who finished with match figures of 13 wickets for 140 runs.
"We tried to play positive cricket in the second innings so that we give our bowlers enough overs to bowl at the opposition and give them enough runs to express themselves," said captain Virat Kohli, who anchored India's first innings with a score of 211.
"New Zealand have played good cricket. It is not easy for anyone coming to India. But they put us under pressure at different times. We just responded well and bounced back and didn't allow them to put us under pressure again," he added.
Earlier, India finished their second innings at 216-3 declared in 49 overs. Cheteshwar Pujara (101 n.o.) scored his eighth Test hundred and faced 148 deliveries, scoring nine boundaries.
He put on 76 runs with Gautam Gambhir (50), who came out to bat at the fall of Murali Vijay (19) after retiring hurt on Monday. He provided instant impetus to the innings and went on to score his 22nd Test half-century off 54 balls, inclusive of six fours.
New Zealand lost all three tosses in this Test series and skipper Kane Williamson thought it was a crucial factor.
"Winning the toss would be helpful and then you certainly have to be at your best. It is important to spend time at the crease creating pressure batting first if possible. This India side a very good team and they know these conditions better than anyone," he said.
India next host England for a five-match series in November and December.