Bangalore, Sep 3: India survived some tough moments on Monday to complete a 2-0 clean sweep of New Zealand by winning the second Test by five wickets here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Before victory was achieved, Indian batsmen were tested by Kiwi fast bowlers.
Virat Kohli, yet again topscored for the team with a crucial half century. He had hit 103 in the first innings. Kohli remained unbeaten on 51 while captain MS Dhoni finished the match off with a massive six. Dhoni was 48 not out. Their unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 96 in 22.1 overs was the turning point. India chased down 261.
This is the highest successful chase at M Chinnnaswamy Stadium. Kohli was Man-of-the-match. R Ashwin with 18 wickets in the series, was adjudged Man-of-the-series.
With this win, Dhoni has become the most successful Indian Test captain at home, winning 14 Tests. Mohammad Azharuddin had won 13.
India had won the first Test in Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs. Both Tests in the series did not enter the fifth and final day.
Three half century partnerships proved critical in a tricky chase. After Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had set the tone with a blazing start, India had few hiccups in the middle, but Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara joined hands to put the chase back on track.
Again, New Zealand rallied but Dhoni and Kohli ensured there was no chance for them to level the series.
After a 58-minute rain delay, both Tendulkar and Pujara were back in the pavilion and Suresh Raina fell for a duck.
India were shaky at 166/5. At this stage Kohli was joined by Dhoni. The skipper did not get into a defensive mode and played his strokes.
Kohli proved the perfect foil for his captain and he left it to Dhoni to play attacking shots. Kohli was more content in not giving his wicket away.
The platform was set by openers Gambhir and Sehwag. They gave India a brisk start. However, both fell in quick succession and the New Zealand fast bowlers troubled Tendulkar and Pujara till lunch.
After the first session, Tendulkar and Pujara, grew in confidence and started to play positively.
The young Pujara was subjected to a barrage of bouncers but he did not succumb to pressure. There were few pull shots making his intentions clear.
At this very ground, on his debut in 2010 against Australia, Pujara had made a match-winning 72 in the fourth inning as India chased down 207 on that day. It was yet again same determination which was on show from the right-hander.
Pujara did enjoy two chances when on 35 and 37. A difficult catch was put down by Daniel Flynn at forward short-leg off Jeetan Patel. Later, an easy stumping was muffed up by Brendon McCullum, doing duty in place of the injured Kruger van Wyk.
Finally Patel was rewarded with Pujara's wicket as he fell to a superb one-handed catch by Flynn at same position where he had spilled one earlier.
Patel added one more scalp of Raina, as the left-hander charged out of the crease for a big hit and only looked back to see the ball crashing into the stumps.
Tendulkar, for the third innings in a row, was bowled. It is three different bowlers. In Hyderabad, Trent Boult had gone through his defence and today, it was Tim Southee. In the first innings, Doug Bracewell had cleaned him up.
It was Tendulkar's 51st time of being bowled in Test matches.
Players were forced off the ground by a light drizzle and early tea was taken at 1.55pm. India were 147/2. Sachin Tendulkar (23) and Cheteshwar Pujara (41) are the not out batsmen. India need 114 more to win.
Lunch Report: India 88/2
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir gave a blazing start to India's chase of 261 but New Zealand came back to removeboth openers. At lunch, India were 88/2, needing 173 more runs to win. Cheteshwar Pujara (10) and Sachin Tendulkar (0) are batting.
In the first five overs, India raced to 29/0. From then on then moved to 65/0 in 10 overs. But the introduction of spin in the 12th over, gave New Zealand success. Jeetan Patel, who came into the attack, was launched over the boundary off his second ball and later a four. But Patel had his revenge, bowling the aggressive opener. When Sehwag departed India were 77/1.
After Sehwag was dismissed, India's run rate came down. Not that it mattered, but as long as he was in the middle, the visitors were always on the backfoot. Gambhir too followed his partner as Kiwi bowlers fought back with fine bowling.
Gambhir and Pujara went on the defensive as their partnership yielded just six runs in 5.1 overs. Left-arm paceman Trent Boult bowled three successive maidens and also had the scalp of Gambhir in one of them. Tendulkar too had it tough in his brief stay before the lunch. He survived a huge LBW appeal from Boult as he was struck outside the offstump.
With overcast conditions and stadium floodlights turned on, it will be an interesting second session with Kiwi fast bowlers coming hard at the hosts' batsmen.
Earlier, India bowled out New Zealand for 248 with Zaheer Khan dismissing last man Jeetan Patel on the fourth day of the second Test on Monday. India took 17 minutes and 4.2 overs to take the last wicket where New Zealand added 16 runs. India need 261 to win and take the series 2-0.
India will be looking to wrap up the New Zealand innings quickly and chase down the target later as the fourth day's play begins in the second and final Test here on Monday.
New Zealand resumed batting on 232/9 from Sunday. They have an overall lead of 242. The last pair of Jeetan Patel and Trent Boult are at the crease. Today, conditions are overcast.
R Ashwin was the star of the day on Sunday when he took five wickets. Pragyan Ojha and Umesh Yadav had two scalps apiece.
India won the first Test in Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs.