India regains no. 1 Test ranking











By Kersi Meher-Homji

It was a triple triumph for India. They won the second Test against New Zealand in Kolkata by 178 runs to win the series 2-0. This enabled them to regain their no. 1 Test ranking, overtaking Pakistan.

Winning the toss, India scored 316, Cheteshwar Pujara 87, Ajinkya Rahane 77 and wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha 54 not out.

India vs NZ 2

Fast medium bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled splendidly to capture 5-78 and New Zealand was bowled out for 204 to trail India by 112 runs. The only resistance came from the Kiwi spinner Jeetan Patel who made 47.

On a pitch favourable to seam and swing, India lost her first four wickets for 43 but were rescued by skipper Virat Kohli (45), a dashing Rohit Sharma (82 with two sixes and 9 fours) and Saha (a sedate 54 not out) and totalled 263.

Set a near impossible win target of 376, NZ started promisingly and was 1-104 at one stage, opening batsman Tom Lathan scoring a resolute 74. But once he was dismissed the rest collapsed in a heap as seamer Mohammad Shami and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each.

For his two unbeaten fifties and superb wicket-keeping, Saha was adjudged Man of the Match.

India won comfortably by 178 runs following their 197 run victory in Kanpur last week.

This was India’s 501st Test match and 250th in India. Both landmarks (500th at Kanpur) were celebrated with convincing victories.

The Kolkata win is India’s 11th in 12 consecutive home Tests. And this Test was not played on a spinners’ paradise, so more credit to India.

The third and final Test in the series starts at Indore on Saturday the 8th.


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