With seamer, Mohammad Shami taking the wicket of Matt Henry Indian players celebrate a 178-run victory against New Zealand at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. With the victory at the Eden Gardens, India has become the No. 1 team in ICC Test ranking.
Thanks to Virat Kohli’s aggressive captaincy that created a pressure on the Kiwi batsmen. New Zealand were 104 for 2, so it was a big collapse that helped India to win the series, with the final and third Test to be played at Indore.
Mohammad Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each.
Captain Virat Kohli praised his team, following the 178 runs victory. He appreciated all-round performances of his team, particularly players like pacers Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who was adjudged man of the match for his half-century in both innings of the match.
“Lovely Test match. Was a brilliant Test wicket apart from the uneven bounce here and there. It’s a wanted venue in India. Bowlers did well. Saha did well and Shami and Bhuvi contributing. We expect a fight from a side like New Zealand.
Talking about Wriddhiman Saha, Virat said, “Saha is the best keeper in the country and he is doing a great job. It is wonderful behind the stumps and can bat. He backs himself and can bat with the tail. Backs himself to play his shots.”
He was also asked about India’s first innings where Cheteshwar Pujara scored 80 and Rahne scored 77. In the second innings, it was Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha who helped India to salvage the innings after New Zealand took four quick wickets.
“In the 1st innings, we threw it away. In the second, NZ bowlers were good. Rohit was good and we all know about his love affair with Eden Gardens. I think in the last session when we wanted wickets, the crowd helped up pick them. That made a massive difference to Shami and put extra pressure on the new batsmen. To keep playing consistent cricket is our aim, and if we do that, with a long home season, we can be there. We have played really good cricket for the last one and a half years,” Kohli said.
Meanwhile, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a happy man to get back his rhythm.
The Uttar Pradesh pacer, who took five wickets in the first innings and one wicket in the second innings, said, “In India, we generally don’t get this kind of wickets (with grass cover) and I was just trying to make the most of it. It’s always good to be in the mix, you always work hard to play the match and when you contribute, it’s always special. Thanks to the physio and trainer, they really worked hard and pushed me to work hard (talking about his recovery from a troublesome ankle),” Kumar stated.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar also said that the time he spent out of the team helped him to gain the confidence as he understood the pain of being dropped from the team.
“When you are out from the team or not fit, you get matured in terms what you need to do to come back into the game and improve your game. I always enjoy bowling with Shami, especially when the ball reverses. He’s a great character. He’s the laziest in the team, but when he’s on the field he gives 100 percent. It’s a pleasure to know that the team is ranked No. 1. And to contribute to the win is great. It’s a sweet victory for us.”