Debutant Rohit rescues India
By Sirshendu Panth
Kolkata – Rohit Sharma struck a half century on debut and featured in two valiant partnerships which pulled India out of trouble on day two of the first cricket Test match against the West Indies here Thursday.
At tea, Rohit (61 batting; 123 b, 8×4) and Ravichandran Ashwin (38 batting; 48 b, 5×4) were in the middle, as India reached 229/6. The unfinished seventh wicket stand is already worth 73. The hosts are now five adrift of the visitors’ first innings score of 234.
After a disastrous morning session, which saw off-spinner Shane Shillingford run through the middle order, the Indians steadied the ship after lunch.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (42; 63 b, 5×4) was the sole batsman to get out in the second session after putting on 73 with Rohit, who seemed to be continuing the cracking form he showed in the recent home One Day International series against Australia.
Rohit, who Wednesday wrote his name in the world cricket record book by becoming the first player to have his Test debut after turning out in over 100 ODIs, came up with some fluent drives and pulls that earned the applause of the less-than-half-filled stands.
Dhoni and Rohit started cautiously as Windies started the session with the pace and spin duo of Darren Sammy and Veerasammy Permaul. The batsmen ran aggressively and hit occasional boundaries to post India’s 150 in the 51st over.
In the very next over, Sammy went for a change of ball and it yielded immediate result. Starting a new spell, Tino Best got the leather to move just enough to induce an edge from Dhoni’s bat who went for a drive while rooted in his crease.
Rohit grew in confidence and completed his 50 with a boundary off spinner Permaul.
Ashwin, too, executed some superb strokes.