2nd Test: India beat New Zealand by 372 runs for their biggest ever victory | Cricket News – Times of India

India reclaim No. 1 Test ranking exactly 15 years after they got there for the 1st time vs SL
MUMBAI: In the end, all it took was 43 minutes for India to polish off the remaining five Kiwi wickets on the morning of Day Four at the Wankhede Stadium and record a ‘Himalayan’ 372-run win- their biggest-ever (in terms of runs) in Test cricket. Finished as a contest once India skittled out New Zealand for 62 in merely 29.5 overs on Day Two, the second Test stretched for a while more than it should have, purely because skipper Virat Kohli didn’t enforce the follow on.
The only surprise on Monday at Wankhede was Kiwi left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel not winning the Man of the Match award despite his incredible ‘perfect 10’ in India’s first innings, with the adjudicators preferring Mayank Agarwal, who cracked a match-defining 150 in the first innings and then hit 62 in the second dig, for the honour instead.
The humongous Test win, and the 1-0 series triumph, was sweet revenge for India over an opponent which beat them in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton by eight wickets in completely different conditions six months earlier.

After clinching this home series 1-0, they regained their No. 1 ranking in Tests on Monday, and now stand third on the WTC table, with 58.33 percentage points, while New Zealand have slipped to the sixth spot. It would be interesting to see how that position changes after both the teams are done with their next assignments – India tour South Africa, while the Kiwis host Bangladesh.
India thus ended New Zealand’s 10-match unbeaten streak in Tests stretching back to February 2020 and have now not lost a Test series at home since 2012.


This is an impressive win considering it came against the world champions and on a pitch where both teams had a fair chance and also since a bunch of India’s premier players were either taking rest or injured. But the team’s batting remains a cause of worry. India needs its senior batters to be at their best during the forthcoming South Africa tour.

The man who fittingly took the last wicket was R Ashwin, as the classy off-spinner became only the second India bowler after leg-spin great Anil Kumble to take 300 wickets at home.
Racing to another eight-wicket haul at the cost of just 42 runs (4-8 & 4-34), Ashwin stamped his complete dominance at Wankhede once more – he now has 38 wickets in five [email protected] at one of his favourite hunting grounds. While he terminated the farcical proceedings by foxing Henry Nicholls (44), who was brilliantly stumped by Wriddhiman Saha off one that turned and bounced as usual, it was Jayant Yadav’s morning as he got the first four in quick succession.

Like Ashwin, Yadav too bagged four wickets to bulldoze the Kiwis for 167. Despite having played his last First-Class game as long back as February 2020, Yadav was on the ball, demolishing New Zealand’s tail with efficiency.
For a while, Rachin Ravindra, who had held fort with Ajaz Patel to save the first Test at Kanpur when the visitors had just one wicket was left, again looked solid, before Yadav’s well-flighted delivery saw the left-hander edge the ball to Cheteshwar Pujara at second slip. A sharp, turning delivery from the off-spinner had Kyle Jamieson trapped lbw, before Southee, who bagged a ‘pair’ in this game, danced down the track only to miss the ball completely and be bowled. William Somerville was caught by Mayank Agarwal at short leg.

Jayant Yadav, who was playing only in his fifth Test, would perhaps love to carry a piece of the Wankhede turf in his pocket. Five years back, he cracked 104 and added 241 for the eighth wicket with Kohli, and this time he took 1-13 & 4-49.
Without skipper Kane Williamson, whose injured elbow forced him to miss this game, New Zealand’s batting in this Test lacked pedigree and folded up like a pack of cards on a spinner-friendly wicket.

With Henry Nicholls’ wicket, R Ashwin became the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble and the sixth overall to complete 300 wickets or more in Tests at home. With 66 wickets at 15.43 runs apiece in just nine Tests, he is the leading wicket-taker in India-NZ contests, bettering Richard Hadlee’s tally of 65 at 22.96 runs apiece in 14 Tests.

With 52 wickets at 16.23 runs apiece in just eight Tests, Ashwin remains the only bowler to complete 50 wickets or more in Tests this year.
Ashwin, with 14 wickets at 11.35 runs apiece (the most by an Indian bowler in the series) and 70 runs at an average of 23.33, has been adjudged the Player of the Series for the ninth time in Tests – the most by an Indian player. He is the third to receive nine or more such awards in Tests, joining Muttiah Muralitharan (11) and Jacques Kallis (9).

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