Jayant Yadav's 4-fer hands over victory to Team India in just 45 minutes of the day'a play
Brief Scores: India 325 (Mayank Agarwal 150, Axar Patel 52, Ajaz Patel 10-119) & 276-7 dec (Mayank Agarwal 62, Ajaz Patel 4-106) beat New Zealand 62 (Kyle Jamieson 17, R Ashwin 4-8, M Siraj 3-19) & 167 (Daryl Mitchell 60, Henry Nicholls 44, R Ashwin 4-34, Jayant Yadav 4-49) by 372 runs in Mumbai Test
It was not extraordinary to expect that India were looking to wrap up the Kiwis taking the last 5-wickets to win their 14th straight home Test series on Monday. It was going to be so unlikely that the New Zealand batters could survive six sessions or score those 400 runs, they could only delay the proceedings of India's celebration. Could the Indian bowlers finish things off before lunch?
The 22-yards on Day 4
The pitch was exactly what Indian pitches would look on Day 4. The spinners would have loved to bowl in those areas where the rough was created; the bounce was still there and with two left-handers in the side, Ravichandran Ashwin would look for another Test 5-fer. NZ batters could only look to be aggressive and play the way they had done yesterday afternoon.
Jayant Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin lead India to series victory
India captain Virat Kohli didn’t waste a single second to start with his spinners. Jayant Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin began the bowling as two left-handers were batting. Lots of plays and misses were happening as quite a few boundaries were adding some runs in the Blackcaps scorecard.
But finally, Jayant Yadav dismissed Rachin Ravindra as the Kiwi left-hander playing with hard hands got an outside edge which Cheteshwar Pujara grabbed easily at second slip. It was a matter of time now to get rid of the tail. Kyle Jamieson was found plumb before the wicket but still decided to burn out the review which showed the same result.
Tim Southee could survive two balls as he tried to step out but Jayant Yadav’s ball spun and hit the timber. The crowd was getting louder as more fielders started to gather around the bat. William Somerville, who batted decently in Kanpur Test was caught at forward short-leg.
The crowd was now sensing a win and the whole Wankhede stood on their feet. Henry Nicholls, at last, after playing a sensible knock, tried to add some runs in the bank. He stepped out but missed the ball; wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha didn’t make a mistake as India defeated the current World Test Champions by 372 runs.
There should be praising words for Wriddhiman Saha, the Bengal wicketkeeper, who has been fantastic throughout the Test series and specially in this game taking the spinning bouncy balls. He has shown a great exhibition of masterclass keeping on Indian tracks.
The Numbers Game
Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the second fastest to pick up 300 Test wickets in 49 games at home; that last wicket of Henry Nicholls is also Ashwin’s 300th wicket in India; he would aim to get 51 more to overtake the legendary Anil Kumble.
India are now sitting at number 3 in the World Test Championship points table (2021-2023). Rahul Dravid, after being appointed the head coach of Team India has achieved his first Test series victory.
What Lies Ahead
India will now take a short break before playing their next Test series in South Africa starting on the Boxing Day, December 26 in Centurion. It will be another golden opportunity for Virat Kohli and his men to win against the Proteas.
New Zealand will start their home summer against Bangladesh on New Year’s Day.
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