Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Kolkata: India wrapped-up a comprehensive display of cricket with an innings and 15 runs win over West Indies in the Eden Gardens Test and took an unsurpassable lead of 2-0 in the three Test rubber.
In the end, West Indies were all out for 463 runs after a spirited fight in the second innings. They did manage to salvage some pride after being in the ignominy of batting again after the follow-on was enforced by MS Dhoni’s outfit.
MS Dhoni reaped the dividends of entrusting youngsters as Ashwin and Umesh Yadav came up with brilliant performances, creating another asset for the already strong bench.
The penultimate day started with a spirited performance by the West Indies outfit as Darren Bravo (136), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (47) and Marlon Samuels (84) gave a hard time to the dogged Indian bowlers before being done in by the mammoth lead and first innings failure.
If the bowlers did a decent job today, they were sizzling in the morning session yesterday when eight wickets fell to consolidate on the 631-run first innings total. Pragyan Ojha was the destructor on Day 3 and had 4 wickets in the first innings to his name.
However, the prime reason for the comprehensive win was the might of the fabled Indian batting line-up that clicked big time to set the stage for the second consecutive win. Rahul Dravid (119) was stoic in his innings, the pillar around whom the leviathan was constructed. He was given apt support by Gautam Gambhir (65) who gave the perfect start to the home team with his partner Virender Sehwag (38).
MS Dhoni (144) gave a good glimpse of his destructive self as he smashed a flurry of deliveries beyond the boundary ropes.
However, the star and the Man of the Match was VVS Laxman, who with his unbeaten 176 took the air out of the competition. He was sublime and vintage at the same time, reasserting the faith in many that his place in the Test squad is as important as other more glorified icons.
With a superb win at Eden Gardens, India would definitely fancy a whitewash of the West Indies when they take on them in Mumbai for the third and final Test.