Sehwag, Dravid steal show
Virender Sehwag smashed a blistering 173 while Rahul Dravid marked his return to form with a fluent century as India took firm control of the first cricket Test against a hapless New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
India rode on Sehwag's classy 22nd century and Dravid's 30th ton to pile up an imposing 329 for three at close on the opening day.
Image: Virender Sehwag
Record 237-run partnership for the 2nd wicket against NZ
Sehwag and Dravid (104) put on a record 237-run partnership for the second wicket against New Zealand to lay the platform for a mammoth first innings total on a batting friendly track at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
The hosts lost opener Gautam Gambhir (21) in the first session but Sehwag and Dravid tormented the insipid New Zealand attack with a flurry of strokes to take India to a commanding position before being dismissed in quick succession at the fag end of the day.
Sachin Tendulkar (13), who needs just one more century to record the amazing feat of 50 Test tons, and the stylish VVS Laxman (7) were at the crease at stumps on a day which saw the hosts completely dominate the bowling.
Image: Rahul Dravid
Sehwag slams 6th ton in 13 Tests
Sehwag's innings was a blast typical of the Delhi daredevil as he cut loose against the New Zealand bowlers with a flourish, clobbering 24 boundaries and a six.
But for a knee injury, that forced him to use a runner after tea, Sehwag could have continued to blast his way.
Sehwag stole the show in the morning session as he drove, cut and slashed his way to 87 not out, with 15 fours and off 84 balls, before lunch in a team score of 127 for one.
The swashbuckler was particularly harsh on Chris Martin, the pace spearhead, and off spinner Jeetan Patel by carting them around for boundaries with total disdain.
Sehwag struck his sixth ton, and first in Ahmedabad, in just over a 12-month period and 13 Tests during which he and his idol Tendulkar have been the bulwarks of the Indian batting. It was also his second ton against the Kiwis.
Image: Virender Sehwag celebrates after scoring his century
Dravid registers 30th Test hundred
Dravid, who joined Sehwag after the latter had strung a stand of 60 with Gautam Gambhir (21) for the first wicket, started very slowly, before opening out to slam his 30th century in his 145th Test.
Dravid, who inched his way to 12 in 51 balls before lunch, steadily grew in confidence and attacked in the post-lunch session that produced 116 runs in 32 overs as India reached 243 for one.
Overall the Kiwis attack lacked teeth in conditions ideal for batting. The wickets of Sehwag and Dravid have given Kiwis some hope for Friday.
Image: Rahul Dravid is bowled by Chris Martin