Sehwag gives India a blistering start (Lunch report)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

AHMEDABAD - Virender Sehwag gave India a blistering start against New Zealand as the hosts scored 127 for one at lunch on the opening day of the first cricket Test here Thursday.

Sehwag looked poised for another Test hundred and was batting at 87, and had Rahul Dravid (12 batting) for company. Sehwag’s knock came off 84 balls with 15 boundaries.

Opener Gautam Gambir, who returned to the side after recovering from a dodgy knee, was the only loss for India. Gambhir’s leg stump was rattled by Jesse Ryder when he was at 21.

Earlier, Gambhir and Sehwag made most of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to bat, bringing up the 50 for India in the 11.1 overs. The two rustled up a 60-run opening stand.

New Zealand seamers could draw little from the wicket, forcing skipper Daniel Vettori to bring himself into the attack in the ninth over. He did arrest the run flow but that was it.

Sehwag, in particular, was ruthless in his treatment of the New Zealand attack. His 50 came off 49 balls with the help of nine fours.

In contrast, Gambhir looked rusty before being sent back by Ryder off the last ball of the 12th over. His 41-ball innings included four boundaries.

Gambir’s loss had little effect on Sehwag, and he continued on in the similiar blistering vein. Dravid, who came up next, was happy to play a second foil. The two forged a 67-run stand.

Earlier, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who played key roles in India’s win in the last match of the Australia Test series, were made to sit as V.V.S. Laxman and Gambhir made a comeback to the playing squad. S. Sreesanth was picked ahead of Ishant Sharma.

Batsman Kane Williamson and seamer Hamish Bennett make their Test debut for New Zealand.

will not be displayed