Starting the series in third place with 119 points, India now has 124. South Africa, remaining on 122, has dropped to the second spot. Sri Lanka, which began the series as No. 2, has slumped to the fourth position with 115 points.

At the Brabourne Stadium suffused with emotions, the Indians converged in a heap after the fall of the last Sri Lankan wicket.It was a historic moment for Indian cricket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men had moved to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings.

The 2-0 series triumph after India won the final Test by an innings and 24 runs here on Sunday, took the side beyond South Africa as the top-ranked team.

A goodly crowd roared in appreciation and the Sri Lankans, in a gesture that was sporting, walked up to congratulate the Indian team.

Since the Test championship was introduced in 2001, India is only the third country, Australia and South Africa being the others, to reach the acme.

India's rise in Tests is a reward for consistent and often winning cricket, both home and away. A strong top-seven in batting and the emergence of an incisive pace attack to complement the spinners has made India a worthy side outside the sub-continent. Team India, a fine blend of experience and youth, has fired collectively.

Starting the series in third place with 119 points, India now has 124. South Africa, remaining on 122, has dropped to the second spot. Sri Lanka, which began the series as No. 2, has slumped to the fourth position with 115 points.

Aggressive opener Virender Sehwag was adjudged Man of the Match and Player of the Series. He whipped up 491 runs in three Tests at a whopping average of 122.75.

Spearheaded by crafty left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, India needed only 7.4 overs on Sunday to claim the last four wickets. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 309 in its second innings.

Operating with exemplary control, Zaheer finished with five for 72; this was the paceman's eighth five-wicket haul in Tests.

Crucially, he dismissed Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara (137) with a mean delivery that pitched on off-stump and left the southpaw late in the day's first over. Zaheer's ability to deviate the ball away from the left-hander from over-the-wicket is high on skill.

Soon, Rangana Herath found the ball climbing on to him quicker than expected as he attempted a pull off Zaheer. Ojha held a smart catch at mid-wicket, diving forward.

Zaheer then switched to round-the-wicket and hustled Nuwan Kulasekara with a short-pitched ball around his off-stump; the Sri Lankan was snaffled up in the cordon.

And Muttiah Muralitharan nicked off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to Dhoni.

Muralitharan batted despite injuring two ligaments of his bowling fingers and is a doubtful starter for the two-match Twenty20 series.

Little went right for Sri Lanka after it had the better of the exchanges in the first Test. This said, the islanders were at the receiving end of at least four faulty umpiring decisions in the final Test. Sangakkara has renewed calls for the Umpire Decision Review System to be implemented in all Test series.

However, India's two successive innings victories strongly indicate it was the superior side in the series. The top seven Indian batsmen averaged 50 plus. And when M. Vijay replaced in-form opener Gautam Gambhir in the last Test, he came up with a polished innings of 87.

The Sri Lankan front-line batsmen could not make an impact at crucial moments. Mahela Jayawardene notched up 373 runs at 74.60, but 275 of those runs were from a single innings in the drawn Ahmedabad Test.

Sangakkara scored 241 runs at 48.20 but failed to make an impression until his valiant 137 in the second innings here; by this point the series had been decided. Thilan Samaraweera had an ordinary series with 151 runs at 37.75. The intrepid Tillakaratne Dilshan – 248 runs at 49.60 - blitzed hundreds in the first and the third Tests but was desperately unlucky with umpiring decisions in both the innings here.

And the Sri Lankan spinners struggled against fleet-footed Indian batsmen. Muralitharan ended up with nine wickets at 65.66 and Ajantha Mendis' two strikes at Kanpur – his lone Test of the series – came at 81.00. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath bowled well in phases for his 11 wickets at 48.81 but struck chiefly in the latter stages of the innings.

Comeback paceman S. Sreesanth's five for 75 in the Sri Lankan first innings at Kanpur opened up the Test series for India. Then Zaheer Khan impressed in Mumbai. The Indian pace attack made a difference.

At the end of it all, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman rejoiced with the younger bunch. It was a compelling sight.

The Scores:

Sri Lanka (Ist inngs): 393

India (Ist inngs) 726 for nine decl.

Sri Lanka (IInd inngs): N. Paranavitana lbw b Sreesanth 54 (144b, 8x4), T. Dilshan lbw b Harbhajan 16 (27b, 2x4), K. Sangakkara c Dhoni b Zaheer 137 (261b, 20x4, 1x6), M. Jayawardene c Dhoni b Zaheer 12 (24b, 1x4), T. Samaraweera c Laxman b Zaheer 0 (13b), A. Mathews c Dhoni b Ojha 5 (8b, 1x4), P. Jayawardene lbw b Ojha 32 (42b, 3x4, 1x6), N. Kulasekara c Laxman b Zaheer 19 (68b, 4x4), R. Herath c Ojha b Zaheer 3 (10b), M. Muralitharan c Dhoni b Harbhajan 14 (9b, 3x4), C. Welegedara (not out) 0, Extras (b-12, lb-1, w-1, nb-3) 17; Total (all out in 100.4 overs) 309.

Fall of wkts: 1-29 (Dilshan), 2-119 (Paranavitana), 3-135 (M. Jayawardene), 4-137 (Samaraweera), 5-144 (Mathews), 6-208 (P. Jayawardene), 7-278 (Sangakkara), 8-282 (Herath), 9-307 (Kulasekara).

India bowling: Harbhajan 34.4-5-80-2, Ojha 23-4-84-2, Zaheer 21-5-72-5, Sreesanth 13-4-36-1, Sehwag 9-2-24-0.

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