It was a complete team effort by the Indians, as every member of the team contributed to the success. Once again, it was R Ashwin who was named the Man of the Series, for his 27 wickets in the series. Let us take a look at how the players of India and New Zealand performed in the series.
Murali Vijay: 6/10
Murali Vijay has been India’s best opener in the last couple of years and he proved his worth in the series. In the first Test, Vijay played out of his skin to get India off to a great start in both the innings as he scored two fifties and put on two crucial 100-run partnerships with Cheteshwar Pujara in the match.
Vijay though, failed to continue his good form in the series as he followed up his 65 and 76 with a string of low scores in the next two Tests. He ended the series with 186 runs in 6 innings with just 45 of those coming in the second and third test combined.
Cheteshwar Pujara: 9/10
Cheteshwar Pujara has been in and out of the Test team the last year. He came into the series with a 150 and 250 in the Duleep Trophy and carried his good form into this series too. Pujara stabilised the innings on almost every occasion that he came out to bat. He ended the series as the highest run scorer with 373 runs in 6 innings at an average of 74.60 and four 50-plus scores, including a century.
Virat Kohli: 7/10
Virat Kohli might have scored 309 runs in 6 innings at an average of 51.50 in this series, but the Indian skipper failed to do well in the first three innings of this series. He did show his class in the Indore Test as he went on to score a mammoth 211. It was a brilliant knock by the Delhi lad, but the standards he set for himself are so high that a lot was expected from him. As captain, Kohli did well in the series by constantly rotating his bowlers and picking the right combinations, depending on the pitch.
Ajinkya Rahane: 8.5/10
Ajinkya Rahane has been India’s best batsman in this series against New Zealand and looked comfortable in all the three Tests. Rahane might have missed out on scoring big in the Kanpur Test, but made up for it in the second Test at Kolkata with a crucial 77 and followed it up with a brilliant 188 in the third Test. He ended the series as the second highest runscorer with 347 runs in 6 innings at an average of 69.40.
Rohit Sharma: 8/10
Rohit Sharma came into this series under a lot of pressure as his future in Test cricket was on the line. He never showed any signs of pressure as he finished the tournament as one of the consistent performers. He got a start in the first innings of the series and threw it away with a poor shot selection.
Since then, Rohit seemed to have matured as he went on to score a fifty in all the three Tests. His innings of 82 at Eden Gardens under pressure, set up the win for India. He scored 238 runs in this series at an average of 79.33.
Wriddhiman Saha: 7.5/10
Ever since he made his Test debut, the Indian team management was expecting a lot from Saha with the bat. This series saw him perform equally well with both bat and the wicketkeeping gloves. Saha’s twin fifties in the second Test earned him the Man of the Match in the second Test. In the 3 innings he batted, he accounted for 112 runs at an average of 112.
R Ashwin: 9.5/10
The Man of the series once again, R Ashwin showed why he is a wizard when it comes to bowling at home in this form of the game. Unlike the previous series against South Africa, conditions and the nature of the wickets did not suit a spinner, but the Tamil Nadu man stamped his authority over the Kiwis.
He accounted for New Zealand’s skipper and best batsman Kane Williamson on four occasions (out of 4) and ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 27 wickets in 6 innings at an average of 17.77.
Ravindra Jadeja: 9/10
Ravindra Jadeja often doesn’t get the credits he deserves in Tests. He might not take a number of wickets like Ashwin, but he plays an important role behind the bowling unit’s success. The story was similar in this series as the all-rounder scored 129 runs at an average of 64.50 and scalped 14 dismissals at a very good average of 24.07.
Mohammad Shami: 8/10
It is not often that one sees an Indian pacer bowling well at home, but Mohammad Shami did just that as he complemented the spinners well and bowled consistently throughout the series. He was at his best when there was reverse swing and sent the stumps cartwheeling on few occasions. He finished this series with 8 wickets at an impressive average of 30.37, numbers that are very good for a pacer in India.
Umesh Yadav: 4/10
Umesh Yadav was the least effective bowler in this series as he picked up just two wickets in the two matches he played.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: N/A
Bhuvneshwar Kumar played just one match in this series and managed to pick up a 5-fer in the first innings and set up a platform for India’s win in the second Test.
KL Rahul: N/A
KL Rahul looked good in the only match he played in this series. After getting India to a flier in both the innings of the first Test, Rahul was ruled out of the remaining two Tests with a hamstring injury. It won’t be fair to judge him by only one Test.
Shikhar Dhawan: N/A
Shikhar Dhawan replaced an injured KL Rahul for the second Test and got injured while batting in the second innings. He scored just 18 runs in the match before he was replaced by Gautam Gambhir in the third Test.
Gautam Gambhir: N/A
Gautam Gambhir made a majestic comeback after the regular openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan got injured in the first two Tests. After missing out in the first Test, Gambhir scored a fifty in the second innings to complete his most anticipated comeback.