India entered the New Zealand series as favorites and were expected to win but what surprised many cricketing fans was the manner in which they dominated the Kiwis throughout all three tests. The Indians outplayed the Kiwis in all three departments and as Indian captain Virat Kohli rightly pointed out that this series win was down to a team effort.
Kohli has not only performed well as a captain with another series win but also scored his second double century in a record fourth wicket partnership with A Rahane who scored a fantastic 188 to give India a massive first innings total of 557. R Ashwin then ran through the Kiwis in the first innings taking 6 wickets and restricting them to 299. India decided not to enforce the follow-on in order to give the bowlers a break and Pujara scored an unbeaten century to give India a commanding lead of 474 runs.
The Kiwis fought hard throughout the series but on the 4th day of the Indore test found it hard to keep up the fighting spirit and ended up playing some poor shots and throwing away their wickets. R Ashwin once again put in a magnificent bowling display to finish with 7 wickets and give India a victory by 321 runs. Ashwin was awarded the man of the match award as well as the man of the series award for his fantastic performance with the ball and his contributions with the bat lower down the order. This was also Ashwin’s 7th Man of the Series Award in 14 test series and he has now the distinction of taking the most number of test wickets after 39 matches.
In a post match statement, R Ashwin said “It was a wicket where you had to work hard, be patient. There was a little bit of help outside the off stump, in terms of footmarks. Second innings, they helped us out with their shots. The reason we were slow was because he wanted to get them driving. There was not much bounce to get catches at short leg. I have to give special mention to Shami, Bhuvi and Umesh, they got us a lot of wickets with reverse swing and Jaddu is a perfect foil. I feel really good about myself and my confidence is sky high.”
Kohli praised his team for their outstanding performance and stated that he wanted them to continue to entertain the crowd during the next test series which is against England.