Rahul Dravid slammed a fluent 119 to put India in command before West Indies snapped up two quick wickets in the fag end of the day to recover marginally in the second cricket Test here on Monday.
Opting to bat, Dravid and VVS Laxman (73 batting) continued their love affair on their favourite Eden Gardens track as their 140-run partnership put India in a strong position of 346 for five at close on the opening day.
On a day Sachin Tendulkar missed out again on the 100th international century when he was out on 38, Dravid took centrestage by notching up his 36th Test and his fifth in 2011
The fourth wicket partnership was broken by part-timer Kraigg Brathwaite who took his maiden Test wicket in form of centurion Dravid who played one on to his stumps.
Laxman was unbeaten on 73 from 116 balls with five fours as the day was called off early because of bad light with 2.3 overs remaining.
Dravid notched up his century by guiding a Kemar Roach delivery towards fine leg for a boundary.
The second leading Test scorer behind Tendulkar completed the mark in 179 deliveries with nine boundaries and one six for his fifth century against the West Indies.
But Dravid missed the 13,000 Test run mark by just 21 runs when he gifted five-Test match old part time offspinner Kraigg Brathwaite an easy wicket playing an inside edge to the stumps.
Nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was dismissed for a duck in a first ball dismissal.
He may be lying low on 12 in the ICC rankings ladder, but Dravid once again showed why he is called one of the finest No 3 batsmen in an innings of great composure.
Dravid came at a time when India were cruising in Twenty20 fashion with 66 in 12 overs. (PTI)