Rohit Sharma
India batsman Rohit Sharma in a mean mood against the West IndiesBCCI

India skipper MS Dhoni heaped praise on Mohammed Shami and Rohit Sharma after the two debutants starred in a dominating victory over the West Indies in the first Test at the Eden Gardens.

Shami finished with brilliant match figures of nine for 118 while Rohit Sharma took the man of the match honours with a serene 177.

Dhoni was quite impressed with the way India bowled against the West Indies, on a pitch which he thought got better as the match progressed.

"I think this was a fantastic performance, the second day was the worst to bat and it became a better wicket as the match progressed," Dhoni said at the presentation ceremony. "It was the disciplined bowling that helped up.

"Shami was fantastic, he got the right length and that was the reason he got nine wickets. You need a bit of pace if you want to dominate, he has very good seam positioning which means he can reverse away from the right-handers too. On a wicket that has more bounce he can move the ball both ways."

Rohit Sharma had a Test debut that he will never ever forget, scoring a responsible and eventually match-winning hundred at a time when India desperately needed a big innings.

Dhoni feels it was fate that kept Sharma from making his debut, which eventually only came six years after he began his international career.

"Sometimes you have to believe in destiny," said Dhoni. "He was supposed to make his Test debut a couple of years ago, but an ankle injury during training forced him out.

"He waited for his chance and it is good to see how Rohit has batted. He is very talented but it is good to see it on the field."

Sharma admitted he could not have asked for a better debut, and the long wait for a crack at Test match cricket mattered little. "All I can say, it [the wait to make the debut] was worth it," he said. "It can't get better than this, such a memorable match, really happy with what we have achieved."

Darren Sammy bemoaned the fact that West Indies kept getting into good positions, only to throw away the advantage, with both the batsmen and the bowlers letting India off the hook at some time or the other in the first Test.

"We get ourselves in good positions in Tests and then we give it away," the Windies skipper said. "Even when India were batting, we were in a good position at lunch yesterday and then we gave it away.

"Getting bowled out in 60-70 overs is not good. One of our goals was to bat at least 120 overs and we didn't do that. I think credit must go to [Shane] Shillingford, he bowled long spells, to bowl 50 overs is a lot.

"The other bowlers should have backed him up more, myself included."

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