Rahul Dravid slammed a fluent 119 to put India in command before West Indies snapped up two quick wickets in the fag end of the day to recover marginally in the second Test at Eden Gardens on Monday.
Opting to bat, Dravid and VVS Laxman (73 batting) continued their love affair on their favourite Eden Gardens track as their 140-run partnership put India in a strong position of 346 for five at close on the opening day.
Dravid took centrestage by notching up his 36th Test and his fifth in 2011. The fourth wicket partnership was broken by part-timer
Kraigg Brathwaite who took his maiden Test wicket in form of centurion Dravid who played one on to his stumps.
Dravid notched up his century by guiding a Kemar Roach delivery towards fine leg for a boundary. The second leading Test scorer behind Tendulkar completed the mark in 179 deliveries with nine boundaries and one six for his fifth century against the West Indies.
But Dravid missed the 13,000 Test run mark by just 21 runs when he gifted five-Test match old part time offspinner Kraigg Brathwaite an easy wicket playing an inside edge to the stumps.
Sachin Tendulkar missed out again
Sachin Tendulkar missed out again on the 100th international century when he was out on 38.
The Master Blaster looked fluent, milking the inexperienced West Indian bowlers at ease as he hit five boundaries in his 71-ball knock. The crowd also started filling up in the empty Eden Gardens with Tendulkar looking in fine touch for the landmark milestone.
But it was West Indian legspinner Devendra Bishoo who once again claimed the prized scalp just when he and Dravid were looking to make it big in their 56-run partnership.
Tendulkar could only manage to pull directly to Marlon Samuels at midwicket from a short Bishoo delivery in what appeared a very easy dismissal in the end in the last ball of the 52nd over. Tendulkar was looking good in the second innning of the
opening Test in Delhi but only to be dismissed leg before by the same West Indian leg-spinner.
The senior batsman, who last scored a century in a World Cup match against South Africa eight months ago, has remained
one shy of the 100th milestone from 12 Test and four ODI innings.
Gautam Gambhir hit his 17th Test half-century
Earlier Gautam Gambhir, cracked his 17th Test half-century but failed to make it big as he fell four overs after lunch.
It was another ordinary ball that yielded in a wicket when Edwards took the wicket after Gambhir drove straight to short cover where Barath took an easy catch.
Gambhir made 65 from 103 balls with eight boundaries. Sehwag was hit on the back of the helmet early into his innings but he seemed unaffected blazing away to 38 from 33 balls with eight boundaries as he along with the lefthander Gambhir put on 66 for the opening wicket.
India did not panick after Sehwag's freak dismissal as Gambhir and Dravid put on 83 runs for the second wicket before the left-hander was dismissed four overs after lunch.