India thrashed New Zealand by 372 runs in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium here to record their biggest victory by run margin and win the two-Test series 1-0. With this win, India also bagged 12 points in the World Test Championship 2021/23 standings.
The Indian spinners had reduced New Zealand to 140/5 in their second innings at stumps on the third day and they wrapped up victory in 43 minutres on the fourth morning, bundling out New Zealand for 167 runs in 56.3 overs to record a smashing win.
This is India’s biggest win by run margin, bettering the 337-run victory registered against South Africa at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi in December 2015. This was also the seventh time that India have won a Test match by 300 or more runs.
Mayank Agarwal, who scored a fantastic 150 in the first innings and followed it up with 62 in the second, was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ while Ravichandran Ashwin was declared the ‘Player of the Series’ for his vital contribution of 70 runs and 14 wickets in the two-match series.
With New Zealand, who were shot out for 62 in their first innings, struggling at 140/5 in their second knock, India did not give the Black Caps any chances of a fightback as they just took 11.3 overs to settle the issue.
Off-spinner Jayant Yadav came up with a devastating spell as he claimed four wickets for 19 runs on Monday morning, getting the ball to turn sharply and extracting bounce.
R Ashwin claimed the other remaining wicket, getting Henry Nicholls out for 44. Nicholls was Ashwin’s 300th victim at home and he is now the second most successful bowler at home, behind Anil Kumble (350).
On Monday, Yadav started the carnage by landing a double blow in the 54th over as he bowled a devastating spell of 6-2-19-4, claiming the wickets of Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee and William Somerville to complete a four-fer and end the match in quick time.
At the start of the day, New Zealand were hoping that their overnight batters, Henry Nicholls and Ravindra, will stall the Indians’ charge, like in the first Test in Kanpur when Ravindra and last man Ajaz Patel thwarted the attempts of the Indian spinners for around 10 overs and denied India victory.
They started well as Ravindra struck Jayant for two fours in his 10th over (48th of the innings), capitalising on the short deliveries that turned and offered him width to rock back on the backfoot and smash them.
And when Nicholls swept Ashwin for a boundary a couple of overs later, it looked like the visitors were settling in for a long haul. They had started cautiously and though there were some loud appeals by the Indians, who were crowded around the bat as was expected, there was no damage done to the Kiwi innings.
But Jayant opened the floodgates when he induced an edge from Ravindra, drawing the batter out by giving the ball enough air and managing to spin it enough that it nicked the bat on its way to Cheteshwar Pujara in second slip.
Yadav then landed the double blow in the 54th over, getting Kyle Jamieson off the second ball and Tim Southee off the fourth as New Zealand slumped to 165 for eight.
Jamieson was trapped in front by one that turned sharply from outside off and would have hit the middle stump as ultra-edge proved on the review taken by the New Zealand batter.
Southee jumped out to a nicely tossed delivery and completely missed the line to get bowled.
Yadav got Somerville out in his next over when he had the batsman jabbing at one pitched on the middle, inside-edging on to his pads for Mayank Agarwal to complete a sharp catch at short leg.
With last man Ajaz Patel at the other end, Nicholls took matters in his hands as he rushed out to hit a delivery from Ashwin only to miss it completely as Wriddhiman Saha completed a brilliant stumping to wrap up victory for India.
Ajaz Patel, who remained not out on zero without facing a ball, ended up getting another record — the best bowling spell in a losing cause.
The 30-year-old Mumbai-born left-arm spinner, who became the third bowler in the history of the game to take all 10 wickets in an innings on Saturday, ended up with a match haul of 14/225.
The record was held by India’s Javagal Srinath, who claimed 13/132 against Pakistan in 1999. Srinath incidentally is the ICC match referee for this match.
Brief scores: India 325 & 276/7 decl beat New Zealand 62 & 167 all out in 56.3 overs (Daryl Mitchell 60, Henry Nicholls 44; R Ashwin 4/34, Jayant Yadav 4/49) by 372 runs.
Press Release, Source: IANS