New Delhi: Eden's best date with cricket was perhaps when VVS Laxman slammed 281 against Australia in 2001. So, when the legend himself raves about two youngsters here, it has to be a 'very, very special' praise. On Friday, the 39-year-old hailed India's first Test triumph vs West Indies and said it was heartening to watch two debutants shine in Sachin Tendulkar's penultimate match.
India wrapped the match by an innings and 51 runs on the third day and Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami ensured Tendulkar did not have to walk out a second time. While the batsman hit a sparkling 177 under testing conditions, local-boy Shami finished with match figures of 9/118 to leave force the tourists to surrender inside three days. "The two debutants have done remarkably well. Rohit grabbed his opportunity really well. Everyone knew he had the potential and (in the Eden Test) what a knock under tremendous pressure!" Laxman told NDTV. "His dismissal was a bit unfortunate as he was struck outside the off-stump. But I know Rohit really well and he values each knock.
While Rohit missed a double ton - never achieved by an Indian on Test debut - Shami hardly missed his mark with the ball. " He hardly looked like someone who is inexperienced and is playing his first Test match. Very pleased with the way he bowled," said Laxman on the bowler whose haul made him the Indian bowler with the second-best figures on debut.
The performance of both debutants and the team as a whole meant Tendulkar could not add to his 1st innings score of 10. Laxman however felt it won't matter to the Little Master. "I am sure Sachin would be very pleased with how things turned out at the end of the third day. Sachin is always someone who wanted the team to win and the manner in which India did would have him immensely pleased," said Laxman, adding that he was sure Tendulkar would hit a ton on home turf. (Also read: Sachin will be first to open champagne, says Laxman)
The second and final Test between the two sides will be played at Wankhede in Mumbai between November 14 and 18.