Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
Kolkata: When the West Indies selectors dropped Sunil Narine for Shane Shillingford for the first Test against Indian team to be played at Eden Gardens, the decision raised many eyebrows. Considering Narine’s tremendous success in the Indian Premier League, he was expected to put a good show against MS Dhoni and his boys.
But Shillingford lived up to the expectations of the selectors as he single-handedly demolished the star-studded Indian batting line-up.
After the Windies were bowled out for a paltry 234, Indian openers got the team off to a formidable start as both Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan added 42 runs for the first wicket. It looked like the openers would stitch in a crucial big opening partnership, but Shillingford had other plans.
The tall off-spinner was getting good purchase from the wicket and he picked his first wicket in the 15th over of the innings when Dhawan missed the length of a delivery that spun away from him.
It was the beginning of a magnificent spell from Shillingford who went onto to pick three more crucial wickets of Murali Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Shillingford made sure the Indian batsmen struggled to score against him.
While Indian team played two spinners in form of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, Windies’ selectors probably missed a trick by not playing Sunil Narine in the first Test.
The way the ball was turning and bouncing on the Eden track, Narine could have been a lethal weapon along with Shillingford.