INDIA RECLAIMS TOP TEST SPOT AFTER NZ-SERIES WIN
INDIA’S bowlers propelled the hosts to a comprehensive 178-run win over New Zealand in the second Test yesterday, to clinch the series and reclaim the top spot in the world rankings. Chasing 376 runs for victory, New Zealand were bowled out for 197 in the final session on the fourth day in Kolkata, with India’s Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja taking three wickets each. Shami claimed the final wicket of Trent Boult, sparking celebrations in the Indian team who take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, after winning the first Test in Kanpur. The victory also sees India jump back to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings after starting the series just one point behind archrivals Pakistan. Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took five scalps in the first innings, shared 12 wickets between them on a two-paced track at Eden Gardens that offered the seam bowlers of both sides great help. India skipper Virat Kohli paid tribute to his bowlers, but also praised wicketkeeper and batsman Wriddhiman Saha, named man of the match for his unbeaten half-centuries in both innings against New Zealand’s aggressive seamers. “Saha was brilliant, he’s the best keeper in the country, he’s doing a great job in Test cricket,” Kohli said. “That hundred in the West Indies really improved his confidence, he understands how to bat with the tail now,” he said of Saha’s recent performance in the Caribbean.