About the Match
A spectacular performance by hosts India to wrap up the test series against New Zealand with a 2-0 win and take the No.1 ranking again; the two teams will now meet for the 3rd and final test starting from 8th October at Indore. It was an all-around performance by the men in blue and the bowlers put in that extra push to dominate the visitors thoroughly; they will try to win again and make it a clean whitewash. New Zealand will be eager to make a comeback before the start of the one-day series next week; although a dead rubber, both sides will put up a tough fight here.
Pujara and Rahane built the innings against the Kiwis with Pujara scoring 87 and Rahane posting 77 runs. Wriddhiman Saha then put up an unbeaten 54 from 85 deliveries to help them post 316 runs. In the second innings, Kohli performed well by posting 45 off 65 while Rohit Sharma also displayed good form as he scored 82; Saha once again played the anchor’s role, posting an unbeaten 54 to take the total to 263 and has proven to be a vital asset in the middle-order.
The bowlers were ruthless and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 5-48 in 15 overs demolished the Kiwis in the first innings, getting them all out for 204. Spinner Ashwin, who had taken 10 scalps in the first test match, continued on his breathtaking spell and claimed a total of 4 wickets. Speedster Mohammad Shami and spinner Jadeja also contributed well in containing the opponents, and provide depth to the attack. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is ruled out of the upcoming test due to injury and will be replaced by debutant Shardul Thakur, who has done well in the domestic circuit.
With Dhawan out due to injury, Gautam Gambhir makes his way back to the test squad after two years; Karun Nair also has been included as reinforcement and with in-form batsmen like Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Saha, India can build a strong foundation. The bowling has been phenomenal and the strong spin and pace combination give them the required edge to win again here.
Ross Taylor donned the captain’s hat in Williamson’s absence and tried to lead from the front; however, after scoring 36 from 80, he fell with just 104 runs on the board. Ronchi and all-rounder Jeetan Patel helped keep the scoreboard ticking and the latter posted a run-a-ball 47. The second innings was no better and with a target of 376 runs, the batting line-up crumbled under pressure getting all-out for just 197.
Tom Latham top-scored with 74 in the second test and can try to build steady partnerships with the likes of Guptill, Nicholls, Taylor and Ronchi, provided they can face the dangerous Indian spin.
Fast-bowlers Boult, Henry and Wagner found success with consistent wickets and a disciplined attack; they can try to outwit India again. Spinners Santner and Patel can exploit the favouring conditions here to restrict the hosts, and with a good strategy can try to redeem themselves.
India has emphatically won the series 2-0 and by reclaiming the No.1 test ranking, their confidence has received a major boost; although the Kiwis could try different tactics and give a tough fight, we feel that India with its methodical bowling attack can yet again dominate and win the 3rd test