Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co should be lauded for their clean sweep in the two-match Test series against New Zealand at Bangalore yesterday
Though New Zealand were never favourites to win this contest considering their recent form (they lost in the West Indies before setting foot in India), honours in yesterday’s Day Four battle at the Chinnaswamy Stadium could well have been theirs had it not been for some splendid batting by the skipper (48 not out) and Virat Kohli (51 not out). The batting star is now India’s Most Valuable Player in the middle order in both forms of the game.
Kohli, who scored a wondrous hundred in the first innings of the Bangalore Test, showed no lack of appetite when it came to building on his first innings’ achievement. To add to his brilliance, he mixed caution with aggression to a nicety, coming in at the fall of Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket — clean bowled yet again in this series.
Dhoni’s men were attempting to chase an unprecedented target at Bangalore and the successful effort ended up being the fifth biggest run-chase in Indian cricket history. This is a massive achievement and gone are the days when India flopped each time they had to achieve success in the last innings of a Test match.
Save Suresh Raina, who is grappling with the demands of Test cricket, all the batsmen got starts which were imperative for a successful chase. But Gautam Gambhir’s loose shot to be caught at slip was disappointing and doesn’t auger well for his future challenges.
This is just the start of a busy season. England and Australia will come visiting and they won’t be easy to conquer. India have good reason to seek revenge after their humiliating 0-4 losses to both these teams in the last season.
Clearly, the real test is yet to come.