Ahmedabad Test: Pujara give India honours on Day 1

 

Virender Sehwag cracked his first century in more than two years as India came up with a solid batting display to take control of the first cricket Test against England in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Sehwag, who has been woefully out of form for long, notched up his 23rd Test century with a run a ball 117, while Cheteshwar Pujara was just two runs short of his ton as the hosts cruised to 323 for four at close on the opening day. Giving Pujara company was comeback man Yuvraj Singh,who was batting on 24,on a dry Sardar Patel track which has already shown signs of assisting the slow bowlers.

Virender Sehwag justified the decision by scoring a superb hundred. He was well supported by Gambhir early on and Pujara later on. The latter came into his own as the day progressed and held the innings together. Graeme Swann waged alone but fierce battle for England. He bowled 32 out of the 90 overs and picked up all the four wickets to fall. The pitch has shown signs of assisting the spinners but England had just one quality spinner to exploit the conditions.

Sachin Tendulkar (13) and Virat Kohli (19) could not capitalise on the 134 run partnership for the first wicket between Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir (45). Opener Sehwag,playing his 99th Test, blasted 16 fours and a six in his usual belligerent fashion, helping him to his first century since November,2010. He dominated the rival bowling attack after the hosts opted to bat on a bone dry pitch, offering low bounce and some turn. Sehwag was given good support by Gambhir whoscored his runs in 111 balls and Pujara, who was closing in on his second Test century after batting watchfully for almost four hours and facing 181 balls. He hit 13 fours.Pujara and Yuvraj saw off the new ball till close after offie Swann turned around the visitors fortunes by sending back Gambhir and then Sehwag.