Fans in the City of Joy have made it eminently clear that the Test between India and the West Indies at the Eden Gardens, is only about one man: Sachin Tendulkar.
Never mind the fact that two extremely talented youngsters, paceman Mohammed Shami and batsman Rohit Sharma, made their debut for the hosts at the hallowed venue. It’s only Tendulkar they are following and that explains the empty seats at the stadium, once India were asked to bowl after Darren Sammy won the toss.
But, make no mistake, every seat in the arena will be taken when India come out to bat today. After all, the Little Master will be taking guard unless the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara have other ideas.
Spectators could just not have enough of Tendulkar yesterday and if they were not chanting his name, all those who found themselves near the fence closest to where Tendulkar was manning the boundary, crowded the area and gave cops stationed there a tough time. Occasionally, he waved to the crowd which only raised the decibels of the chants.
One for the record
To the delight of everyone present, skipper MS Dhoni handed the ball to Tendulkar to have a go in the 63rd over, and as has been the case so often, he did not disappoint, taking the wicket of Shane Shillingford off the fourth ball.
The off-spinner clearly could not read the delivery and was trapped in front. Needless to say, the signature wide grin was writ large on the Little Master’s face the moment the umpire raised his finger.
This was Tendulkar’s 46th Test wicket, but the one that he will remember for the rest of his life. India walked back to the dressing room for the tea interval extremely content with the visitors struggling at 192-7 at this stage. He was given another over post the interval, but Ojha replaced him thereafter.
West Indies (1st inng)
C Gayle c Vijay b Kumar 18
K Powell c Kumar b Mohammed Shami 28
D Bravo run out (Mohd Shami/Dhoni) 23
M Samuels b Mohd Shami 65
S Chanderpaul b Ashwin 6
D Ramdin b Mohd Shami 4
D Sammy c Kumar b Ojha 16
Shillingford lbw b Tendulkar 5
V Permaul c & b Ashwin 14
T Best not out 14
S Cottrell b Mohd Shami 0
Extras (b 4, lb 7) 11
Total (all out in 78 overs) 234
Fall of wickets 1-34, 2-47, 3-138, 4-138, 5-143, 6-172, 7-192, 8-211, 9-233
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 14-6-33-1
Mohammed Shami 17-2-71-4
R Ashwin 21-9-52-2
Pragyan Ojha 24-6-62-1
Sachin Tendulkar 2-1-5-1
India (1st inng)
Shikhar Dhawan not out 21
Murali Vijay not out 16
Total (0 wickets, 12 overs) 37
Tino Best 2-0-15-0
Sheldon Cottrell 5-2-13-0
Shane Shillingford 4-2-8-0
Veerasammy Permaul 1-0-1-0
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