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Tuesday, Jan 28th

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You are here: Cricket Test Cricket Rohit, Ashwin put India 120 ahead in Kolkata Test, Tendulkar gets rough decision

Rohit, Ashwin put India 120 ahead in Kolkata Test, Tendulkar gets rough decision

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An emphatic unbeaten century on debut from Rohit Sharma (127*), and his 198 run stand with Ravichandran Ashwin (92*) allowed India to end Day 2 of the first Test against the West Indies in Kolkata 120 runs to the good despite a poor start to the day. Resuming from their overnight score of 34-0, India crumbled to 87-5 before Sharma and MS Dhoni (42) resurrected the Innings. The wrecker in chief for the visitors was 30 year old Shane Shillingford, who bowled with tremendous zip in the morning session to silence the fans before India came back strongly to win the last two sessions.

The fans descended on Eden Gardens this morning to see their 'God' in action against the West Indies, but Shane Shillingford had other ideas as the West Indies' offspinner exposed India's frailties against the turning ball in yet another home series, after Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar had spun a web around the Indian top order earlier this year.

Shillingford took 4 wickets in a thrilling morning session of test match cricket, including the big one of Sachin Tendulkar, though the legendary batsman had every reason to feel aggrieved with Nigel Llong's decision to give him leg before with a side on replay showing quite clearly that the ball would clear the stumps by a country mile.

The Windies' offie struck early in the day to send back the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan (23) with the left-hander dragging a low delivery back onto his stumps. Murali Vijay followed shortly after for 26, dragged outside his crease by some enticing flight and then beaten comprehensively by the top spinner, leaving him stumped well short of his crease.

Cheteshwar Pujara (17) appeared to have the measure of the off-spinner, but threw his wicket away to debutant Sheldon Cottrell, attempting to scoop a short ball down to third man, but only finding the waiting gloves of the West Indies keeper instead. Tendulkar's dismissal for 10 followed in the very next over, leaving Eden Gardens absolutely stunned.

The heir apparent to Tendulkar's throne, Virat Kohli, failed to make much of an impression in the game, given out caught bat pad off Shillingford, but the batsman appeared to indicate that he got nothing on the ball. Replays meanwhile remained inconclusive.

Rohit Sharma (16*) and MS Dhoni (21*) took India to lunch at 120-5, trailing the Windies by 114 runs in what promises to be an absorbing test match.

The hosts came out strongly in the second session and won it comprehensively, with Sharma starring with the bat, continuing from where he left off against Australia in the recently concluded One Day series. Sharma shared a 73 run stand with Dhoni, who made a handy 42 before failing to move his feet to a well pitched up delivery from Tino Best with a newly changed ball, and was out caught behind. It was a terrific decision by Darren Sammy to toss the ball to his quickest bowler, and was instantly rewarded.

However, the Windies found no more reward in the session as Sharma notched up a half-century on debut and got more than useful support from the other end from Ravichandran Ashwin as they added another 73 runs for the 7th wicket to edge India closer to West Indies' first innings score. At the break, India were just 5 shy of West Indies' total of 234, with 4 wickets still in the hutch.

India continued their domination well into the afternoon, stamping their authority on this test match. Sharma proved to be in irrepressible form and raced towards his maiden test match century, becoming the 14th Indian to score a ton on debut. The youngster's only streaky shot was the one that got him to three figures as he slashed a delivery from Cottrell between the lone slip and gully. Sharma continued to build on his innings and ended the day unbeaten on 127.

At the other end, Ashwin proved too good for a tiring West Indies attack, and with stroke play so reminiscent of VVS Laxman, showed every reason why India can afford to go in with 5 batsmen and two allrounders in him and Ravindra Jadeja in future series. The Indian offspinner looked good for a century of his own, and ended the day just 8 shy of it, unbeaten on 92.

India go into the third day 120 runs to the good and stand an excellent chance of taking a 1-0 lead in this series.

Teams:

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Mohammed Shami

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy (c), Veerasammy Permaul, Shane Shillingford, Sheldon Cottrell, Tino Best

Mini Scorecard:

West Indies 234 all out (78 overs, 3.00rpo)

M Samuels 65 (98) M Shami 4-71

S Chanderpaul 36 (79) R Ashwin 2-52

India 354-6 (102 overs, 3.47rpo)

R Sharma 127* (228) S Shillingford 4-130

R Ashwin 92* (148) T Best 1-53