Dhawan strikes fastest ton on debut

Dhawan strikes fastest ton on debut

Dhawan strikes fastest ton on debut

As dream debuts go, this one has to be right up there among the best.

Till yesterday, Shikhar Dhawan was considered a mere pretender to the throne vacated by Virender Sehwag at the top of the order. On Saturday, in front of less than half full stadium, the left-hander proved that he is a genuine contender to take the opening slot with a jaw-dropping unbeaten century to light up the third day’s play of the third Test here at the PCA Stadium.   

It was largely on the back of a sparkling 185 (168 balls, 33x4, 2x6) by the southpaw that India finished third day’s play on a strong note at 283/0. The hosts are still 125 runs behind Australia but his aggressive approach along with M Vijay’s mature unbeaten 83 (181b, 10x4, 2x6) has provided India with a chance of pushing for a win.

Dhawan, who has alternatively been overawed and inspired by his Delhi-mate Sehwag, not only became the 13th Indian player to slam century on debut but also the fastest in the world to reach the coveted mark for a debutant. He was a bit self-deprecating when he said, “the fours were coming after hitting the bat’ but there was no denying the class he exhibited.

The 27-year-old, who shot into limelight during the 2004 under-19 World Cup with a string of big scores, doesn’t fall into the category of the elegant, but on the day his knock had some aesthetic value attached to it, especially when he came up with those flowing cover drives and punches on the back foot. It was an absolute mayhem but without the brutality of his predecessor Sehwag. It seemed as though there was a method to his madness that he unleashed on the unsuspecting Australians.

It wasn’t until he had got past 100 that he attempted an aerial shot and there were very few attempts to sneak the ball through the slip cordon that greatly reduced the risk factor.    
From being bowled off the second ball he faced on his one-day debut against Australia in 2010 to scoring a century on Test debut against the same opponents, Dhawan underlined the saying that cricket is a great leveller.

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