India beat New Zealand to win series, reclaim top ranking

Kolkata—India crushed New Zealand by 178 runs in the second test on Monday to clinch the three-match series and reclaim top spot in the world rankings from Pakistan.
Chasing 376 for victory, the touring side were bundled out for 197 in fading light on the fourth day at Eden Gardens to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
India will return to the top of the International Cricket Council test rankings irrespective of the result of the third and final test in Indore which starts on Saturday.
India’s ambition to regain the top ranking after handing over the honour to arch-rivals Pakistan recently following a washed-out test in the West Indies dove-tailed perfectly with the bumper test season at home.
“With the coming home season we have control of that situation (staying number one),” captain Virat Kohli said at the presentation, referring to the season ahead where India will also host tests against England, Australia and Bangladesh.
It was an all-round show from the Indian bowlers with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and fast bowler Mohammed Shami picking up three wickets each.
New Zealand opener Tom Latham waged a lone battle, top- scoring for his side with a dogged 74.
Latham and Martin Guptill (24) survived nervous moments before lunch to give New Zealand a solid start with a series-best opening stand of 55.
Guptill, whose place in the side is under scrutiny after a string of poor scores, was on six when he was given not out following a confident appeal for lbw by Shami.—AFP

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