Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Oct. 11 : Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday registered his best figures in Test cricket as India crushed New Zealand by 321 runs on Day four of the final Test and clinch the three match series 3-0 here at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
Chasing the daunting target of 475 runs, the Black Caps were bowled out for mere 153 inside 45 overs. Ashwin, who took seven wickets in the final innings---his career best figures, finished with match figures of 13 for 140 to bowl India to a cruising victory against the Kane Williamson led-side.
In the process, Ashwin picked up 21st five-wicket haul of his Test career. Ashwin was adjudged Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his brilliant piece of bowling. He took 27 wickets in the three-match series. "First things first, I would like to thank the Indore crowd for coming out and supporting us. It was a wicket where you had to work hard to pick wickets. We had to change up the pace and that is because I had to get them to drive as the ball was carrying to short leg or leg slip," Ashwin said in the post Test match presentation.
"Special mention I have to give to Bhuvi, Shami and Umesh. They contributed whenever we were not able to get the wickets. Virat told me that he is rotating the bowlers. I have been bowling really well and my confident is sky high," he added. Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 18-0, India, which were ahead by 276 overnight, set New Zealand a target of 475 to win, declaring almost immediately after Cheteshwar Pujara had reached his eighth Test hundred just under an hour from tea on the fourth day.
The match was earlier set up by the record breaking stand between Kohli and Rahane. Sharing a record 365-run stand, they both bailed India out from 100/3 and enabled a mammoth 500-plus score.
From there, Ashwin did his thing. This was also India's 10 Test win under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. After the match, Kohli was also presented the ICC Test championship mace for becoming the number team in the Test rankings by former Indian captain and ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar.
India won the first Test in Kanpur by 197 runs and took an unassailable lead by defeating New Zealand by 178 runs at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.