New Delhi:Wasim Jaffer slammed a majestic unbeaten 192 as India took firm control of the second cricket Test against Pakistan by laying the foundation for a mammoth first innings total on Friday.
The 29-year-old Jaffer notched up his fifth Test century as he stole the limelight with some breathtaking shots while Sachin Tendulkar (82) and Rahul Dravid (50) chipped in with notable contributions to steer the home team to a commanding 352 for three at close on the opening day.
Local hero Sourav Ganguly (17) was giving Jaffer a company when play was called off early due to bad light with 5.3 overs still remaining to be bowled.
Electing to bat, the Indians lost opener Dinesh Karthik (1) cheaply but the other batsmen made the most of the ideal batting track at the Eden Gardens to put the team in the driver's seat.
Jaffer seemed to be in imperious form as he first added 136 runs with Dravid for the second wicket and then stitched 175 runs for the third wicket with Tendulkar against an insipid Pakistani bowling attack.
Pakistan's gamble to include Shoaib Akhtar, who had not fully recovered from a viral infection, proved quite costly as the temperamental fast bowler could manage to bowl just nine overs during the day.
None of the Pakistani bowlers could really make much of an impact as the Indians scored at a brisk pace to compound the misery for stand-in captain Younis Khan, who led the team after Shoaib Malik was ruled out of the match because of an ankle injury.
Jaffer said India would look to post a big total to enforce follow on on Pakistan. "India are now on a strong wicket and the team strategy would be to bat well tomorrow and enforce the follow-on."
Jaffer said the wicket was on the slower side, and he concentrated on playing cricketing shots, and desisted from being too aggressive.
"I don't remember having batted so fluently before," he said but admitted that he was conscious about his tendency to get out after having made good starts.
"I was conscious about it. I couldn't convert even in a few Ranji matches recently. That was in my mind. I got conscious when I was in my 50s and 60s."
On being in and out of the Indian team in the past, the opening batsman said "I have gone through a lot of lean phases... But I am used to scoring big and coming back into the side.
"It hurts you, but it also teaches you a lot on how to come back," he added.
Asked how he benefited from the advices given by Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar during his partnerships with them, Jaffer said, "Partnerships are like they are. It is about mutual understanding. When I do anything wrong he (the other partner) talks to me, and vice versa".
On whether he would be able to sleep tonight with the double hundred in sight, Jaffer said in a lighter vein "I am always a good sleeper".