Test Cricket – India On Top Of The World




Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid

Finally New Zealand’s resilience was broken and India wrapped up the 3 Test match series with a victory after the first two ended in stalemates. The massive innings and 198 run victory meant that India have not lost 9 consecutive series since they lost 2-1 in Sri Lanka in 2008. After bowling on dead mines over the last two tests, the win came a bit sooner than expected, a little after lunch as India asserted their position over the No. 1 ICC Test Rankings.

With the pitch in Nagpur offering turn and bounce to the spinners, the Indians were the favourites to pick up the 9 remaining wickets. Ojha bowled with an attacking intent and was rewarded with the wickets of McCullum and Guptill early in the day. It only went downhill for the Kiwis thereon! Gambhir, who was hit by a full blooded Ross Taylor sweep, stayed on and hung onto a beauty at forward short leg to get rid of Hopkins. Taylor inside edged one to Pujara, who came on for Gambhir and Ishant cleaned up Williamson and New Zealand were already staring down the barrel. Ryder played a nothing shot and Vettori was trapped in front as Raina got into the act too. It was only a matter of time now and Ishant dismissed Southee and Martin of successive deliveries to give India their third biggest win in Tests.

It was a near perfect performance by India. Dravid picked up the Man of the Match award for his patient knock of 191 while Dhoni got himself some valuable batting practice before the South African tour. I Sreesanth and Ishant made some early inroads on the first day which set up the match, the former going on to pick up 9 in the match. Ojha and Harbhajan bowled tight lines and dried up the scoring opportunities.  Half centuries from Gambhir, Sehwag and Tendulkar meant that India crossed 400 in the first innings for the seventh consecutive time and some tight fielding and good catching didn’t allow any of the Kiwi batsmen to get a big score.

Harbhajan Singh was awarded the Man of the Series for his all round performance – picking up 10 wickets and scoring over 300 runs including two consecutive centuries; the first coming when India were in dire straits after being reduced to 15/5 by a fiery Chris Martin spell. That innings was the most defining one of the series and ensured that India didn’t go one down in the series.

The hallmark of a champion team is that players stand up and deliver when it is most required and this bunch of players seem to do just that.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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