Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrates with the team at Indore's Holkar stadium. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Virat Kohli-led Team India beat New Zealand by 321 runs in the third and final Test at Indore to complete a 3-0 clean sweep. This is the first time that India has completed a clean sweep under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
This is only the fourth time in history that India has completed a clean sweep in a series consisting of 3 or more matches. The other instances were against England in 1992-93, against Sri Lanka in 1993-94 and against the Australians in 2012-13. All these clean sweeps have been achieved while playing at home.
The victory, India’s second biggest in terms of runs, was the perfect icing on the cake for a team, which had just regained the no 1 ranking in the ICC Test rankings.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked up 13 wickets in the match, was adjudged the 'Man of the Match'. The offie finished the series with 27 wickets and was declared the 'Man of the series' for his efforts. This is the seventh time that Ashwin was declared the 'Man of the series'.
Resuming at the overnight score of 18 for no loss in the second innings, the Indian batsmen went about scoring runs at a quick pace. Opener Gautam Gambhir led from the front with a quickfire 50 in his comeback Test.
It was a Cheteshwar Pujara show from then on as the India no 3 brought up his 8th Test century as India declared their second innings on 216 for 3, setting New Zealand an improbable target of 475 runs to win the match and prevent a whitewash.
Umesh Yadav struck early to remove Tom Latham for 6. New Zealand went into tea at 29/1 with skipper Kane Williamson and opener Martin Guptill at the crease.
But just as it looked like New Zealand will manage to take the match into the fifth and final day, the Indian spinner triggered yet another collapse.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the protagonist yet again as he sent back the Kiwi skipper Williamson (27), Ross Taylor (32) and Luke Ronchi (15) in quick succession.
Ravindra Jadeja then joined the party by sending back Neehsam (0) and Guptill (29) to put the hosts on the brink of a clean sweep.
Ashwin completed his 6th career 10-wicket haul by breaching the defence of Mitchell Santner (14).
Jeetan Patel was the next to go, bowled by Ashwin for a duck, giving the offie his 21st career 5-wicket haul. Ashwin made it 6 in the second innings with the wicket of Matt Henry.
BJ Watling delayed the inevitable for a while but the writing was on the wall
Earlier, Indian skipper Virat Kohli scored a double century and Ajinkya Rahane scored 188 to set the foundation of the victory as the hosts amassed a mammoth 557/5 declared in the first innings. Kohli becoming the first Indian skipper to score two double tons.
Ashwin was the wrecker-in-chief, picking up 6 wickets, as the hosts bowled New Zealand out for 299 in the first innings to get a sizeable first innings lead.