Virat Kohli
103 and 51*

India were hit by a jolt prior to the first Test when VVS Laxman, India's crisis man, announced his retirement. But after two Tests, Virat Kohli has given enough evidence, with his assured batting in demanding conditions, that India's future generation is something to look forward to.

Kohli has risen from being an exciting prospect in limited-overs cricket to an intimidating run-machine in all forms in the past one year. After playing second fiddle to Cheteshwar Pujara in the Hyderabad Test, Kohli was responsible for rescuing India from a precarious 80 for 4 on the second day, with two contrasting partnerships with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. In the fifth-wicket stand with Raina - who scored an attacking but chancy half-century - Kohli remained unfazed, managing 38 in a 99-run partnership. But he took the dominant role in the partnership with Dhoni and got to his second Test hundred with a trademark flick off the pads.

But it was his unbeaten second innings half-century, an innings of utter calm and solidity that assured the team amid slight panic that there is life beyond Laxman. Kohli came to the crease with more than 100 runs required and New Zealand pressing forward, and helped settle the nerves with his unflappable control of the chase which won him the Man-of-the-Match award.

Tim Southee
7 for 64 and 1 for 68

Tim Southee, after missing New Zealand's mauling in the Hyderabad Test, replaced the experienced Chris Martin in Bangalore and turned out to be Ross Taylor's trump card. Taylor himself had set the scene with a combative century on the first day that helped New Zealand to 365. But it was Southee, the most experienced in the trio of young seamers, who surprised India's batting line-up with a spell of incisive seam-bowling and kept India on heels for the entire duration of the Test.

Southee had picked a five-wicket haul in his debut Test in 2008 against England - his only five-for in 16 Test appearances before Bangalore. Since then, he has been in and out of the team and has seen younger bowlers - Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell - overtake him as first-choice seamers. However, after taking account of seamer-friendly conditions in Bangalore, Taylor picked Southee ahead of Martin and he didn't take long to justify his captain's faith. India's opener Gautam Gambhir lost his off stump to a delivery he had left alone after watching the previous few go on with the angle. The second wicket - of Pujara - followed soon as Southee had the batsman falling to a bouncer trap.

The most prized wicket, though, would have been that of centurion Kohli who had looked set for many more. Southee, with the second new ball, induced an error in judgment from Kohli, who after seeing the deliveries leave him, shouldered arms to a straight one, to be out leg before. Southee followed it up with the wicket of MS Dhoni - his 50th in Tests - and added two more to record his best figures. In the second innings, he messed up Sachin Tendulkar's stumps to break a 69-run third-wicket stand and keep New Zealand in lurch. The visitors may have lost a tight contest, but the future of New Zealand bowling appears to be in good stead.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo