Rohit Sharma became the 14th Indian to score a century on Test debut and like a matured cricketer said in a post-match chat: "I understand its value since we had lost five wickets early in the innings. There was lot of pressure on us." Sharma was undefeated on 127 and his 198-run seventh-wicket partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin (batting on 92) not only bailed out India but helped wrest advantage at stumps on Day 2 of the Eden Gardens Test against the West Indies. India have a handy 120-run first innings lead. West Indies were all out for 234 on Day 1 on Wednesday.
Sharma has been in tremendous form in the recent ODIs against Australia. He struck a superb double hundred in Bangalore on November 2. That innings helped India edge out the Aussies 3-2 in the seven-match series after two matches were washed out. The Mumbai batsman was rewarded with a Test cap and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. After India were 83 for five, Sharma held the innings together and frustrated the West Indian attack with some calculated attack. Sharma celebrated his century off 194 deliveries and laced with 12 fours a six. It was not the strike rate that was crucial but the ability to handle the pressure and keep the runs coming that made his knock all the more noteworthy. (Tendulkar falls to questionable decision)
"I knew how important it was to score a hundred today. I am really happy that I managed to get and it and more happy that it has come on my debut," Sharma said, adding: "I have fond memories of Eden Gardens and I am happy that the crowd backed me." (Rohit becomes 14th Indian to score debut ton)
Since making his ODI debut in June 2007 against Ireland, Sharma waited for six years to win his Test cap. One of the most talented batsmen in India, Sharma has been in the focus since the ICC Champions Trophy in June this year. But he really made a move on in the Australian series. Did the delay in getting a Test break frustrate him? "I wasn't really thinking about it. I just enjoyed my cricket and waited for the opportunity. Glad it finally happened and I am happy to manage a century and put India in a good position." (Day 2 report)
This Test match is seeing the emergence of a new generation of cricketers. Sharma received his Test cap from the retiring Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday morning. On a day when the Master Blaster managed to score just 10 runs - Tendulkar got a bad LBW decision - Sharma's century will surely gladden the retiring legend's heart.