Bowlers led India to a significant win in a series decider match at Dr Y.S.Rajashekara Reddy stadium in VisakhapatnamAfter half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli New Zealand were set a competitive target of 270, India’s spinners led by Amit Mishra’s 5 for 18 rolled the hosts out for a paltry 79.
After winning the toss Dhoni elected to bat first keeping in mind about the pitch which looked to be on the slower side. Ajinkya Rahane played early to a Tim Southee delivery and hit it with the inside half of his bat. He didn’t look good in his short stay at the crease as he ate up 22 dot balls.With the ball beginning to stow on the batsman, Rahane chipped a length ball tamely to mid-wicket, falling for a 39-ball 20.Rohit picked up a four and a six off Neesham to set up a busy passage of play.He and Kohli steadied the ship and built a solid partnership.In the process he reached his half century thereby ending his horrible form. He’d managed to add just four runs after being handed a reprieve by Ross Taylor when on 66.
In came the skipper at 4 to repair the damage. Dhoni along with Kohli built a partnership without taking any risks.They found it difficult to rotate strike initially but after getting themselves in a flurry of boundaries started to flow. But just as Dhoni was beginning to find his batting rhythm after the partnership had yielded 71, he was trapped plumb in front by Santner after missing a sweep. Pandey too departed soon for a duck. Kohli trying to play an inside out found the fielder at long off. Axar and Jadhav then added 46 off 39 balls to drag the total close to 270.
New Zealand had a disastrous start as they lost both the openers in quick succession. New Zealand’s hopes of chasing down 270 rested with the experienced pair of Williamson and Ross Taylor once the seamers had accounted for the openers. After a steady 35-run stand Williamson gave Axar the charge and found long off. Then Mishra took centre stage. Taylor edged a cut to Dhoni and walked. BJ Walting was cleaned up by a googly. James Neesham, by a vicious leg spinner.The tail didn’t last long as Mishra ran through them to add some more in his bag.Axar then finished the formalities by cleaning up Santner.
India won the match by 190 runs with Mishra bagging both man of the match and series awards.This was also India’s second highest margin of victory in terms of runs against a test playing nation.