India build solid platform

2011-11-14 13:17
Rahul Dravid (AP)

Kolkata - Rahul Dravid completed a solid half-century to boost India's hopes of posting a big total on the opening day of the second Test against the West Indies on Monday.

The middle-order batsman was unbeaten on 62 as the hosts reached 212-3 in their first innings at tea after winning the toss. He added 83 for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir (65) and 56 for the next with Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, who needs just one hundred to complete an unprecedented 100th international century, had been batting confidently before falling for 38, pulling leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to Marlon Samuels at mid-wicket.

Dravid continued to bat comfortably against both pace and spin on way to his 62nd test half-century, having so far cracked seven fours in his 128-ball knock.

Tendulkar, who has scored 51 hundreds in tests and 48 in one-dayers, looked in excellent form as he turned Fidel Edwards to fine-leg for his first four and then drove paceman Kemar Roach through the covers for another boundary.

He survived a confident appeal for leg-before on 25 while attempting to sweep Bishoo before being dismissed by the same bowler.

The West Indies struggled for success on a pitch which had little in it for the bowlers with seamer Darren Sammy, Edwards and Bishoo each taking one wicket.

Gambhir fell to a loose shot, driving a delivery from Edwards straight to Adrian Barath at short cover after adding eight runs to his lunch score of 57.

Gambhir, who hit eight fours in a 103-ball knock for his 17th half-century in 43 tests, gave the hosts a solid start when he put on 66 for the opening wicket with the aggressive Virender Sehwag (38).

Sehwag played some attractive shots against the West Indies pace attack, hitting eight fours in his brisk 33-ball knock before driving Sammy straight to Barath at short mid-wicket.

Only a few thousand spectators were present at the 67 000-capacity stadium to watch India make a brisk start as Sehwag and Gambhir added 50 runs in just 10.2 overs.

Sehwag went for shots early, hitting Sammy and Edwards each for two fours in an over. He then smashed three successive fours off Sammy before falling to the same bowler immediately after the drinks interval in the morning.

India retained the side that won the opening test of the three-match series by five wickets in New Delhi, while the West Indies brought in opener Barath and Roach in place of Kieran Powell and Ravi Rampaul.

India are looking for a series clinching victory after winning the opening test in New Delhi by five wickets.


India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwg, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), Yuvraj Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav. West Indies: Adrian Barath, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Carlton Baugh (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Kemar Roach, Fidel Edwards, Devendra Bishoo.

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