Indore - Spinner
Ravichandran Ashwin claimed seven wickets to lead India's whitewash of
New Zealand as the hosts romped to a 321-run victory on day four of the
third and final Test on Tuesday.
Ashwin with career-best match figures of 13-140 helped India skittle
out the visitors, who were chasing a daunting 475-run target, for 153 in
under two sessions of play at Indore.
Ashwin, the highest wicket-taker in the three Tests with 27 scalps, was named both man of the match and player of the series.
India, who climbed to the top of the world Test rankings after their
series-clinching win in Kolkata, remain in number one position ahead of
New Zealand, whitewashed in India for the second successive time
after their 2-0 loss in 2012, suffered an early blow when Umesh Yadav
trapped opener Tom Latham lbw for six.
The visitors took tea on 38 for one but lost nine more wickets in the final session of play.
"The bowlers have responded beautifully every time we've been in
pressure. Someone has always put up their hand," said Indian skipper
"And that's the difference: this team is up, we get wickets in bunches. We have that attitude and we do get the results."
Ashwin, who registered his 21st five-wicket haul in Tests, took
charge in the evening session to remove skipper Kane Williamson for 27.
It was the fourth time in a row that he had dismissed the Black Caps'
star batsman, who missed the second Test due to a viral infection.
Ross Taylor showed some aggressive intent with 32 off 25 balls
including five fours and a six, but did not last long before he was
bowled by another Ashwin turner.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja soon joined forces with Ashwin to
dash New Zealand's hopes of surviving the day after getting the
all-important wickets of Martin Guptill and James Neesham.
Ashwin then disposed of the tail as the hosts celebrated their 3-0 series triumph.
Earlier in the day, a century by
Cheteshwar Pujara had put the hosts on course to set New Zealand a
daunting victory target at India's newest Test venue, Indore's Holkar
Pujara struck an unbeaten 101 as India, who started the day on 18
without loss, declared their second innings on 216 for three in the
Pujara, who recorded his eight Test hundred, put on 76 for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir (50).
"If you see Pujara hitting a fast bowler back over his head, it is
the best example of expressing yourself. This is a proper team series
win. It wasn't just one individual," said Kohli.
India had already gained the upper hand after bowling out New Zealand
for 299 in response to their massive first innings score of 557 for
Kohli's second Test double-century paved the way for India's dominance as he registered his career-best score of 211.
The star batsman put on a record 365-run fourth-wicket partnership
with Ajinkya Rahane (188) to keep the New Zealand bowlers on the field
for close to six sessions.
"We wanted to show better cricket than we did, but full credit to
India. They outplayed us in all areas and we have to weather these
wounds," said a disappointed Williamson.