The International Cricket Council (ICC) have confirmed that they will present Indian Test captain Virat Kohli with the Test mace at the end of the third Test at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore after India became the number one team in the ICC Test Rankings.
India overtook arch-rivals Pakistan after registering a series win against New Zealand last week. If India win the ongoing Indore Test, they will be confirmed of staying in top spot until they begin their next Test series, which will be against England in November.
The ICC, in their statement, mentioned that Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar will do the honours of handing over the mace to Kohli.
This team is starting to tick off boxes. Most players either at peak or looking ahead to best years.Should be able to challenge overseas too— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 4, 2016
The statement read: “The International Cricket Council (ICC) will present the ICC Test Championship mace to India captain Virat Kohli at the Holkar Stadium in Indore after the end of the third and final Test against New Zealand.
“On behalf of the ICC, former India captain and ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar will make the presentation immediately after the awards ceremony for the series.”
Since South Africa were dethroned from the top spot in January 2016, three different teams – India, Australia, Pakistan – have occupied the position at different points in this calendar year.
Resuming at 18/0 in their second innings, India will hope to add some quick runs before declaring and giving themselves enough time to bowl New Zealand out to complete a 3-0 series win.
Earlier in the match, Virat Kohli struck a double century and Ajinkya Rahane hit 188 as the Indians scored 557/5d in their first innings. In reply, the visitors were bowled out for 299, despite a 118-run opening partnership between Martin Guptill and Tom Latham.
A win for India in this Test would guarantee them of holding on to the number one spot on the ICC Rankings until their next Test series which is against England.
ASHWIN’S INCREDIBLE TEST RECORD
Ravichandran Ashwin is, without much doubt, one of the biggest match-winners in Test cricket currently. His masterful bowling was once again on display as he ended with figures of 6/81 in New Zealand’s first innings.
New Zealand looked to be in control at 118/0, but Ashwin struck with three quick wickets and there was no looking back after that.
Ashwin against Williamson was one of the most talked-about battles before the start of the series and it’s fair to say that the Indian off-spinner has won the duel quite comfortably.
Playing in just the 39th Test of his career, this was Ashwin’s 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
No. of Tests to 20 five-wicket hauls:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) October 10, 2016
Kapil - 98 Tests
Kumble - 75 Tests
Harbhajan - 59 Tests
Ashwin - 39 Tests#IndvsNZ
GUPTILL FINDS FORM
Martin Guptill, whose place in the New Zealand Test team has often been questioned, dug in to score his first half-century in nine innings. The 30-year-old scored 72, a knock which might help him keep his place in the Test side for the New Zealand summer.
Along with Tom Latham, Guptill provided a solid start to New Zealand’s innings. The duo put on 118 runs for the first wicket, by far the best opening partnership of the series.
Guptill may consider himself unfortunate after getting run-out from a straight drive from Luke Ronchi, which saw the ball flick the bowler Ashwin’s hand.
UNLUCKY NEW ZEALAND
Ravichandran Ashwin wasn’t just good with his off-spin, but also managed to execute two run-outs off his own bowling. Guptill and Jeetan Patel were the batsmen found backing up too much at the non-striker’s end.
While Guptill’s dismissal was intentionally done by Ashwin, he will consider himself a little lucky with the way Patel was run-out. Matt Henry, the batsman at the time, hit the ball in the air and Ashwin had a good opportunity to complete a caught and bowled dismissal, but dropped the catch.
Fortunately for Ashwin, the ball deflected off his hands and knocked the bails off at the non-striker’s end.
With no DRS implemented in this series, there have been a few questionable decisions as well; Jimmy Neesham was the one who was on the receiving end this time around, given LBW to a delivery which was clearly missing the stumps.
This entire series what has stood out is NZ's non-whining-heat, umpiring,wkts. Nothing. The next Test series,might not be so nice. #IndvsEng— neeru bhatia (@neerubhatia3) October 10, 2016
INDIAN BATSMAN WARNED AGAIN
On day two of the Indore Test, Ravindra Jadeja was initially warned for running on the pitch. A second offence of the same kind from the Saurashtra cricketer saw New Zealand awarded five penalty runs.
Later in the day, Jadeja was fined 50 percent of his match fee and given three demerit points by the ICC.
In fact, even before Jadeja, the commentators had noted that Indian captain Virat Kohli was running across the pitch during his marathon innings of 211.
On Monday, there was another such incident as Murali Vijay was found to be running on the pitch by umpire Bruce Oxenford. As a result, the Tamil Nadu opener received his first warning.