(During the course of the second Test between India and the West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata we'll post live updates, analysis, reader comments and reactions. Please hit F5 periodically for new posts.)
4:30 pm: India 346/5 at the end of Day 1
The day's play got over with what seemed like a bit of a farce. Ishant Sharma walked in at the fall of Dravid's wicket and was then promptly dismissed while still on nought. Does it make sense to send a nightwatchman in when India are on 345? Does Yuvraj Singh need to be protected at such a stage in the match? Yuvraj then came in only to be led off the field due to poor light.
Meanwhile the Dravid-Laxman partnership once again starred for India. Here's a
flashback from the same ground in 2001 when they together batted India for their famous 376 run stand that turned the tables on champions Australia
4:00 pm: A momentary lapse has cost Dravid his wicket. It was an innocuous delivery from Brathwaite and Dravid attempted to play the square cut, but instead chopped it on to his stumps. 2011's top scorer in Tests was livid with himself for playing that shot. He knows that ball didn't deserve his wicket.
3:30 pm: Rahul Dravid has done it again. This is his fifth Test century of the year with an average of over 62 in 2011. He is also not far from the 1000 runs in a calender year mark. To think that in just two months Dravid will turn 39. Question to readers: Till when do you think he should play on?
SANJAYMANJREKAR Dravid is so predictable these days..he has got himself another test hundred.
cricketwallah News of Sachin missing ton invades wilds of S Africa followed by that of Dravid getting his. Has been order of things past few months
2:45 pm: That six from Dravid off Bishoo has surprised many who don't expect the almost always correct batsman to free his arms and swing into the air, especially in a Test match. But here is an interesting fact - Dravid has hit 20 sixes in Tests, as compared to VVS Laxman who has hit only 5 sixes in his entire Test career!
1:30 pm: In yet another anti-climax, Sachin Tendulkar has made his way back to the pavilion for 38. It was once again a soft dismissal as Sachin played uppish and offered an easy chance to Samuels at mid-wicket off Bishoo. The wait for the ton of tons has now lasted 15 innings and 8 months.
Gambhir was deceived into playing a ball far away from his body and caught off Fidel Edwards in the covers. His wicket has brought Sachin Tendulkar to the crease and yet again the focus is on if he will reach that elusive hundredth 100.
The obsession for his landmark has got more than a bit unhealthy, what with even the Cricket Association of Bengal leaping on to the bandwagon. They’ve distributed 100 t-shirts with ‘Let's Pray For The Century of Centuries at Eden’ monogrammed below Tendulkar's picture on them. These t-shirts were given to school children and you can see them wearing them in the stands today.
11:30 am: A look at India's record in Kolkata -
They've won 9 (or 25%) of the Tests they've played at the Eden Gardens, while 19 matches (close to 53%) have resulted in a draw.
The good news is that India have not lost a match here since 1999 when they went down to Pakistan in the inaugural and only Asian Test Championship. Some of you will remember that Test for the controversy that arose when Sachin Tendulkar was run out after colliding with Shoaib Akthar. The crowd took offense as they felt that Akthar did it deliberately and the Pakistan team shouldn't have appealed for the run out. When the crowd grew violent the police had to forcibly evict all supporters and the Test continued in front of empty stands.
11:05 am: India 132/1 at Lunch
India have had a good morning starting off with winning the toss and getting the first opportunity to bat on a good wicket. The opening partnership took the home side to 66 after which Gambhir and Dravid have put on a rock solid partnership of 66 not out. They both look in super form and it might well be a long day in the field for the men from the Caribbean. Remarkably the first session did not witness even a single maiden over
10:45 am: Sehwag has departed. After punishing Sammy early on he once again attempted an expansive drive that went straight to the man at short mid-wicket.
You would assume that with Dravid's arrival things would quieten down in the middle, but the stalwart has been at his fluent best with some glorious drives on showcase.
Dravid is inching closer to the 13,000 run mark and the Eden Gardens has been a happy hunting ground for him. He is the third highest scorer here - behind Laxman and is just about to overtaken Mohd Azharuddin.
9:45 am: The Eden Gardens may be hosting a Test for the first time since Feb 2010, but that hasn't helped pull in the crowds. Most stands look as empty as an exam hall soon after the last paper is over.
The fact that the Test has begun on a Monday might well be a contributing factor to the sparse crowds at the ground. Sachin Tendulkar had some complaints with the side screen and several seats have been cordoned off to make things easy for him, but that hasn't cause too much trouble yet because there is plenty of empty space in the other stands.
Some reactions coming in on Twitter:
SANJAYMANJREKAR Timings of test match is its biggest weakness, crowd at Eden has confirmed that.9 to 5 is work time & that’s when test match is played, 9 to 5
greigtalks Eden Gardens was one of my favourite grounds because of its wonderful atmosphere. Today it looks and sounds like a morgue. Why start Monday?
cricketaakash Once again not too many people in the stadium but then it's rather ambitious to expect a full house on a Monday morning.
venkatananth Classically, Test matches should have the third and fourth day on weekends. Heck, the Ranji trophy has been scheduled that way.
9:30 am: Play has kicked off at the Eden Gardens at a bright and early 9 am. Probably the earliest a Test has started anywhere in the world in quite some time. India won the toss, opted to bat and already there has been some action. Viru has been hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Fidel Edwards and seemed a bit shaken by it. Play was halted for a couple of minutes while he tried to recover.
India went in with the same XI that played in Delhi while the West Indies have brought in opener Adrian Barath and paceman Kemar Roach in place of Kieran Powell and Ravi Rampaul.