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India thrive in Kolkata

India enjoyed a dominant opening day as their two-match Test series against West Indies got under way at Eden Gardens.

With all eyes on Sachin Tendulkar, for whom the encounters will represent his closing acts for India, it was somewhat disappointing for those in attendance when the tourists chose to bat.

However, the Little Master’s prospects of heading to the crease tomorrow appear high after West Indies were dismissed for just 234.

The only thing, therefore, standing in Tendulkar’s way is India’s top three, the first two members of which - Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay - made a fine start in steering their side to 37 without loss at the close.

There is still hope for the Windies, though, in the form of the appreciable reverse-swing India debutant Mohammed Shami, in particular, was able to generate.

With West Indies recovering from the early losses of Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell - the former edged Bhuvneshwar Kumar to second slip and the latter chipped Shami to mid-on - to reach 138 for two, the turning point came when the ball was changed after 40 overs.

Indeed, Shami enjoyed far more movement with the second cherry, castling Marlon Samuels - who had looked typically stylish en route to 65 - and Denesh Ramdin in successive overs, in between which Darren Bravo was run out for 23.

The tourists folded meekly thereafter, Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 36 the only real rearguard as they settled for a score significantly lower than their earlier good work suggested, Shami claiming 4-71.

In the middle of the collapse, Tendulkar got in on the act, grabbing a rare wicket by trapping Shane Shillingford lbw.

Scenting their opportunity, India then piled on further misery thereafter as Dhawan and Vijay made solid progress.

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