On a day when billions of Indians wanted Sachin Tendulkar to score a century, two youngsters raised their hands to slam tons as the master blaster fell short by 26 runs in his 200th and final Test. Cheteshwar Pujara (113) and Rohit Sharma (105 not out) scored brilliant centuries to enable India take a firm grip on the second Test at Mumbai Wankhede Stadium against West Indies on Friday. India were 479 for nine at the end of the 105th over with an overall lead of 297 runs.
While Pujara scored his fifth Test century, Sharma (105 not out) became the second Indian to score Test hundreds in back-to-back innings. Sharma made his Test debut last week at the Eden Gardens and scored a brilliant 177 to help India thrash West Indies by an innings and 51 runs inside three days.
Sharma, who struck 10 fours and three sixes, enjoyed a 'life' when he had scored 85. He was caught going for a big stroke, but Shane Shillingford bowled a big no ball, a crime for an off-spinner. But Mumbai fans, who were left disappointed after Tendulkar missed a deserving ton earlier in the day, were not to be denied this time. Mumbai Indians skipper Sharma, who led Tendulkar in the IPL and the Champions League T20, went on to score his century taking no risks in the nervous nineties. However, on 99, Sharma smashed Marlon Samuels for a six, to bring up his 100. Tendulkar stood up in the team balcony to salute the effort.
Sharma must thank Mohammed Shami Ahmed, who held one end up with some dogged effort. Not a false stroke, Shami played safe and let Sharma take most of the strike.