India win the Bangalore test and win the series 2 - nil against the visiting Kiwis. The result was expected, and not a big surprise, but the way the second test panned out showed that the young New Zealand team are no pushovers and can indeed compete in foreign conditions. New Zealand despite being on the losing side, have plenty of positives as it was a good learning experience for their younger players. India like the kiwis also fielded a young team with fresh faces with the retirements of Dravid and Laxman and it was great to see the newcomers taking responsibility and playing some great cricket.
The Indian middle order which was largely inexperienced with the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Suresh Raina made sure that the gaps left by the greats before them wasn't shown. There is plenty of talent and potential, and if these youngsters keep performing the way they did in this test series, then Indian cricket has a good future ahead.
Cheteshwar Pujara, a player long dubbed to be in India whites, finally looks to have come of age. His 159 in the first test was a stunning display of quality test cricket batting and was largely instrumental in setting up India's victory. The knock was one of confident, dominance and the entire New Zealand team could only manage to match Pujara's score in their first innings. In the second test, he failed to impress in the first innings, after failing to keep a pull shot down, but he made amends and in the second innings scripted a brilliant 48. Again it was yet another innings of elegance and solidarity in his technique.
Virat Kohli, India's big star for the last year, did everything to further improve that and my respect for this young batsman keeps growing. He's so gifted, that Kohli knows the importance of making the most of that when the sun is shining and he did that yet again. With 2 half centuries and a century, he was without any doubt the engine of the Indian batting. His knock today was one of total control and maturity that one would expect from a seasoned campaigner, and its just unbelievable to see a youngster exhibit such nerves. He helped India home, today and if he can be as consistent as he is being at the moment, then there's surely more than a decade of whites waiting for him.
Suresh Raina is the only worrying batsman in the middle order. Despite showing some promise, he still hasn't been able to erase the question marks, and that spot is still up for grabs.
Ravichandran Ashwin, the man of the series, was simply exceptional in every way! I never considered him much of a test match bowler, but the way he has carried himself this series, has made me eat my words. With 18 wickets, and three of those 5 wicket hauls, one really can't expect anything more from a spinner, can they? I'm sure Harbhajan Singh is somewhere out there crying just watching this youngster take his place in the Indian team.
The pace department however still looks bare and despite the fact that Umesh Yadav can churn some good pace, he is very erratic and much fine tuning is to be done. He did bowl his heart out and was among the wickets and is definitely a name that will keep reappearing in the future.
The Indian youngsters performed well, but one must remember that it was against an inexperienced New Zealand side playing in foreign conditions. The real test starts later this year with India taking on England, and Pakistan.