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India Whitewash New Zealand Thanks to Ashwin’s Unbelievable Play

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India Whitewash New Zealand Thanks to Ashwin’s Unbelievable Play

October 12
15:44 2016

ashwinNew Delhi, Wednesday, October 12 – India attained what they were expecting to do when Kiwis landed on the Indian soil. Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore was full of happy crowd that gave Indian team loud cheers for their wonderful batting, fielding and bowling.

In the final blow against New Zealand, the position of Virat Kohli & Co was strong since the decision to bat first after winning the toss was well utilized. Indian captain showed immense faith in Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav and his Playing XI did not disappoint. He himself played the role of an anchor.

Post declaring 1st innings at 557 runs losing five wickets, the hosts wanted to see whether the same bowling magic of Kolkata Test can be repeated or not and it did. Kiwis carried on struggling to get the wickets. The stadium was occupied even though it was a festive day, making the match get more interesting. The support from cricket lovers worked in favor of team India, who showed great batting despite the fact that start wasn’t good enough. On the other hand, Kane Williamson and team hoped for a better show this time. Losing the first two Test matches and missing the chance of keeping hopes alive in the series, they expected to do well but Indian team was in totally different mood.

Having Luke Ronchi, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Jeetan Patel, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry and Trent Boult on the side, Williamson looked forward to restricting Indian players from attaining any big score but that did not happen. In fact, top and middle batting orders made scoring on the Indore pitch look so easy which wasn’t in actuality as the rivals could only score 299 runs when came to bat. The pitch conditions were utilized to a certain extent by the New Zealand openers. Tom Latham scored 53 runs, while Martin Guptill managed to get 72 runs. Williamson – one of the best batsmen in the New Zealand team – scored only 8 runs and had to leave the crease when Ashwin began to bowl in a perfect line and length; something what he managed to have throughout the Test series.

The combination of Rahane and Ashwin made Luke Ronchi and Ross Taylor lose wicket on a zero. James Neesham was lbw by Ashwin at a score of 71. His innings included beautiful and useful 11 boundaries. BJ Watling succumbed to Jadeja at a score of 23 (4 x 4). Mitchell Santner was dismissed by the same man thanks to an outstanding catch by Kohli. He scored 22 runs in 52 balls, with the help of four 4s. Jeetan Patel was a tad unlucky being run out by Ashwin at a score of 18 (4 x 3). Trent Boult was out for a duck by Ashwin. Matt Henry was not out at 15 runs, which included a couple of fours and a six. With a massive lead, India chose to bat as bowlers were bowling for the entire day.

To help them get the needed rest, Indian openers arrived on the pitch. Gambhir received injury in his shoulder while trying to avoid be a run out victim. He was successful in saving his wicket at that point of time but couldn’t play further on Day 3. Murali Vijay, who scored 19 runs (4 x 2), was unfortunate to lose his wicket after Guptill and Watling made sure the bails are hit before the batsman safely reached inside the crease. Cheteshwar Pujara did not let down and played an unbeaten knock of 101 runs in 148 balls, together with nine boundaries. Gautam Gambhir managed to play a confident knock of 50 runs in 56 deliveries when he arrived on the crease early next day. Six fours from him showed he hasn’t forgotten how to place the balls in the gaps despite being away from Test team for about two years. Patel was the man to get his wicket.

Virat Kohli was lbw by Patel at a score of 17 (4 x 1). Ajinkya Rahane was not out at 23 runs, which consisted of three boundaries. As soon as Pujara completed his ton, New Zealand were given chance to play their second innings. In 49 overs, India totaled 216 runs for the loss of three wickets. If truth be told then there was enough time for them to bat confidently without losing considerable number of wickets. However, lack of consistency in performance made them end Test series with humiliating defeat of 321 runs. Tom Latham was the first man to be dismissed, losing his wicket to Umesh at a score of 6, which came through a biggie. Kane Williamson was performing better, scoring 27 runs in 33 balls, with the help of five boundaries. Ashwin dismissed him by bowling a delivery in a good line, leaving the New Zealand skipper with no option but to get his leg before wicket.

New Zealand fans were expecting to see much from him since it was a matter of not succumbing under pressure. But nothing could be done as Ashwin was on fire. He got wicket of Ross Taylor as well who was trying to avoid pressure from building. He scored 32 runs in 25 balls, inclusive of five fours and a six. Luke Ronchi was trying his best to stay on the pitch for as long as possible to help his side get somewhere near to achieving the target but his stint was cut short by Ashwin when he was playing at an individual total of 15 runs in 18 balls (4 x 1). A wonderful delivery by Jadeja sent James Neesham back to the dressing room when he was making efforts to open his account. When most of the fans and cricket experts were wondering whether the match can be ended on Day 4 or not, India made this obtainable.

Their dreams got wings when Martin Guptill was lbw by Jadeja at a score of 29, which consisted of five boundaries.  This was the moment when India sniffed victory. Ashwin did not stop and he carried on bowling better and better. His next prey was Mitchell Santner, who hit a couple of boundaries and a six in his knock of 14 runs. Both Jeetan Patel and Matt Henry were out by Ashwin – the king of spin. When Trent Boult was caught & bowled by Ashwin at a score of 4 (4 x 1), BJ Watling – the man on the other end – was left in sheer disappointment as his team could not avoid a defeat that made India win series 0-3. The New Zealand wicketkeeper was not out at a score of 23 (4 x 3). Ashwin got seven wickets when Kiwis came to bat for a second time. His impressive spell made him bag both Player of the Match and Player of the Series awards. Kiwis were all out at 153 runs.

The difference that was noticed in their approach this time was Kiwis being more focused towards showing fearless play. Since they failed in the challenge of the Test encounters, now focus will be on bouncing back with sheer strength in five-match One-Day International series that are to start soon. October 16 is the day when a lot of people may turn up at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala as it being the venue for the first ODI, which is taking place on Sunday. The young and enthusiastic Indian team would certainly not fail to capitalize their strengths, which helped them be at no 1 position in Test ranking. As of now, India are on cloud nine to close the Test series against the Black Caps by 3-0. With same confidence and belief, they would love to do something unbelievable ahead. Virat Kohli was one of the happiest man yesterday as his men did not disappoint him at any point of time. If truth be told, it was team efforts that allowed India be the centre of attraction.

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