Ravichandran Ashwin, an off-spinner by trade, proved his worth with the bat with a morale-boosting century in the first innings of the first Test versus West Indies at Eden Gardens on Friday. At stumps on Day 2 of the Test on Thursday, he was batting on 92. It is his second century in Test cricket, his first coming against the same opponents at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in 2011. (Live updates)
Ashwin's century was laced with 11 boundaries and came off 159 deliveries. With Ravindra Jadeja out with a shoulder strain, Ashwin has played the all-rounder's role to perfection. Sunil Gavaskar, speaking to NDTV, complimented Ashwin for his brilliant batting effort. "His first Test century also came against West Indies from a similar situation and once again he has shown his ability with the bat. He has handled pressure really well and apart from his bowling he really works hard on his batting. He has actually created an opportunity for him to bat higher in the order."
Ashwin came into bat with India in a spot of bother at 156/6 on Day 2, needing another 78 runs to level West Indies' first-innings total of 234. Along with fellow-centurion Rohit Sharma, Ashwin batted with ease, nullifying the threat of the impressive Shane Shillingford. He reached his half-century in just 71 deliveries and the duo had put on 198-runs for the seventh wicket by close of play. Ashwin was unbeaten on 92 with Rohit batting on 127 - his maiden century on debut - as India amassed a lead of 120 and counting.