Mumbai Test: India demolish New Zealand, win series

Team India
Jayant Yadav was in the thick of action on the fourth morning. Photo: Twitter/BCCI

Mumbai: India carried out a decimation of New Zealand, winning the second Test by a record-breaking 372-run margin to clinch the two-Test series 1-0 with comeback-man Jayant Yadav cleaning up the visiting team's lower half on the fourth morning here on Monday.

At exactly 10.13 am, 43 minutes to the start of the day, Ravichandran Ashwin (4/34) benefitted from a reflex stumping by Wriddhiman Saha and also completed his 300th wicket on Indian soil to finish the proceedings in a jiffy as New Zealand were all out for 167 in 56.3 overs.

The margin of victory was India's highest ever on home soil.

Team India
Mayank Agarwal is congratulated by Virat Kohli on taking a sharp catch to dismiss William Somerville. Photo: Twitter/BCCI

For a team that had fought tooth and nail in Kanpur, the extra bounce and turn did pose familiar problems for the Kiwis in a match they will try to remember for Ajaz Patel's 10-wicket heroics.

"I think it was good to finish the series as winners, came close in Kanpur, not able to get that last wicket, had to work hard here. This result seems one-sided, but right through the series, we were made to work hard," India coach Rahul Dravid said after the demolition act.

"There have been phases where we were behind and had to fight back, credit to the team. Great to see the boys stepping up and taking their opportunities," he added.

Funnily, Patel bowled 73.5 overs across two innings for New Zealand and his team, in total, batted 84.4 overs which would signify abject capitulation.

Apart from this, there was nothing much to write home about in an insipid performance from a usually gutsy side.

Starting the day at 140/5, the victory target of 540 was simply out of reach for the Black Caps but Jayant, who had not looked in good rhythm on the third evening, suddenly found his mojo with a career-best spell of 14-4-49-4 having last played a Test match in 2017.

"In the morning, the moisture in the wicket helped. You could see the difference between last evening and this morning, it was getting much more bite," Yadav said.

"It was just important to get the ball in the right areas," he added.

The win in which India ticked almost all the boxes save their middle-order woes will give skipper Virat Kohli lot of confidence going into the away series against South Africa starting in three weeks' time.

While the series will definitely be a confidence booster but at the same time, everyone knows what awaits in South Africa and the most pressing issue will be the lack of form of three key batters in skipper Kohli, his vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara.

On current form, all three can't be accommodated in the playing eleven and with Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill showing good form and Hanuma Vihari, with some useful knocks, waiting in the wings, there are some tough selection calls to be taken.

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