KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Inspired by Rahul Dravid, India hammered New Zealand by an innings and 198 runs in Nagpur to extend their unbeaten run to nine consecutive Test series.
The number one ranked Test team were frustrated in the opening two fixtures against Daniel Vettori’s New Zealand but secured victory in the third in emphatic fashion.
Dravid’s majestic 191, coupled with 98 from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni powered the hosts to a mammoth 566-8 declared after they had bowled the Kiwi’s out for just 193 on day one.
Three wickets each from Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh helped secure victory as New Zealand crumpled to 175 all-out in their second innings.
Sachin made to wait
Sachin Tendulkar was foiled in his search for a 50th Test century when he fell for 61 to Black Caps debutant Andy McKay.
The 'Litte Master' is one away from the previously unconquered feat and is also within touching distance of becoming the first to make 100 international centuries, with 95.
His next opportunity will come in South Africa, where the Indian’s travel for a three match series, starting on 16 December.
Sharma sets up
India will be particularly delighted with the performance of Ishant Sharma, who excelled in the absence of linchpin seamer Zaheer Khan.
After a whirlwind start, which saw him repeatedly trouble Ricky Ponting during an impressive tour of Australia, the 22-year-old’s career appeared to have stagnated.
Match-figures of 7-58 in Nagpur are encouraging for the India selectors, who will need extra fast-bowling options for their tour of England in 2011.
India last lost a Test series to Sri Lanka in July 2008 and have won all but two of their nine encounters since, including two home wins over Australia.
They also vanquished Kevin Pietersen’s England in December 2008, taking a thrilling series 1-0.
England, who face Australia, Down Under and Sri Lanka at home before taking on the world champions, will be desperate to get off to a winning start at the Home of Cricket next year.