India vs New Zealand 3rd Test, day 4 at Indore: After a magnificent batting performance in the second innings, India had New Zealand on the mat and they never let go the advantage by exerting pressure constantly and literally forcing the opposition to commit hara kiri. And that is exactly what they did! This has given captain Virat Kohli a 3-0 series whitewash over the humiliated Kiwis, who were roundly beaten across the spectrum of play – fielding, bowling and of course, batting too!
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a magnificent century, which came at a fast clip, something that he is not known for. The rest of the batsmen batted well, including Gautam Gambhir, who is fighting an injury, to put India in the driver’s seat in the 3rd Test on Day 4 at Indore. The bowlers came in to finish off the job, efficiently and effectively.
Ravichandran Ashwin emerged as the assassin in chief taking as many as 7 wickets for 59 in a spectacular spell of power bowling to scuttle the Kiwi innings at just 153 in 44.5 overs. What is more, the entire 5th day was yet to be played at the Holkar Stadium. No wonder Ravichandran Ashwin won the man of the series award. Ashwin’s 3rd Test haul was 13 for 140 in total and for the entire series he bagged as many as 27 wickets.
The demoralised Kiwi batsmen succumbed easily. Ashwin took one in no time at the beginning of their second innings. And thereafter it was a deluge! It took India just three hours of play to scuttle the Kiwis’ second innings.
The Kiwis had themselves to blame for not being focussed enough. The pitch was not a rank bad turner and therefore was not really offering much turn. Ashwin seems to have put a spell on their batsmen.
As soon as the last wicket fell, the entire team, including Anil Kumble ran to the field shouting loudly in celebration. This win will cement India’s position as World No. 1 in ICC list.
India declared their second innings just about an hour before the tea break at 216/3 in order to get a chance to attack the Kiwis in that hot period and thereafter an entire session. Pujara scored 101.
India went to lunch in its second innings in a strong position with Gautam Gambhir, and Cheteshwar Pujara both having slammed 50s to consolidate their overall lead to 385 as they reached 127 for two. Murali Vijay was the batsman who got out cheaply at 19. At lunch, Pujara (50) and captain Virat Kohli (2) were at the crease.
The batsmen were totally in control on day 4 morning and the only chance that they offered was by Vijay when his flick off Matt Henry was not pouched by by James Neesham at deep mid-wicket. However, that was a certain six till the fielder came in between and managed to flick the ball back into the field of play even as he himself fell out of the boundary. Unfortunately for Vijay he was run out soon thereafter. The blame was all Pujara’s as he first responded to Murli’s call, but then sent him back.
India had given itself control of the Test after scoring a whopping 557/5 declared in the 1st innings earlier.
The 5-match ODI series between India and New Zealand starts at Dharamsala from October 16. The captain there will be Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kohli his deputy.