Home > Features >

Shikhar Dhawan’s sensational arrival on the international stage augurs well for beleaguered India’s immediate future in Tests

Shikhar Dhawan’s sensational arrival on the international stage augurs well for beleaguered India’s immediate future in Tests

File photo: Shikhar Dhawan is fearless and doesn’t shy away from playing his strokes © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Filling in the shoes of a batsman of the calibre of Virender Sehwag is no easy task, but Shikhar Dhawan has emulated the Nawab of Najafgarh by scoring a hundred on his very first outing in Test cricket — and with the same ferocity of his Delhi senior. The talented southpaw was earmarked for bigger things at a young age and after years of hard work he has announced his arrival with a century on Test debut for India. The ease with which he played assured the selectors that he was ready for the highest level and that presented much optimism for India’s opening conundrum.

Like Sehwag, Dhawan is very aggressive at the crease. Sehwag, as mentioned above, made an entry into Test cricket with a ton on debut, albeit as a middle-order batsman. Dhawan is fearless and doesn’t shy away from playing his strokes. Sehwag’s uncomplicated approach has allowed him to play his strokes irrespective of the situation. Showing similar qualities, Dhawan charged to the fast bowler even when he was on 98. Predominantly an off-side player, there is a certain panache and a joie de vivre in his cover drives. That very quality was on display as the Australians were stunned by the debutant’s remarkable effort.

There were no signs of nerves as Dhawan was moving his feet positively. He got off the mark with a punch through the covers and his partner, Murali Vijay ran down to congratulate him. Not many would remember that Dhawan was dismissed for a duck on his One-Day International (ODI) debut against the same opposition. Vijay was his partner in that game as well.

Throughout the innings, Dhawan drove the fast-bowlers on the rise with a good stride forward. His first boundary was a beautifully timed cover drive off Peter Siddle. He followed that up with a pull through square-leg a few deliveries later. When the spinner came on, he charged down the wickets and disturbed his rhythm. The shot that stood out was an inside-out drive that streaked along the green carpet to the boundary. If Lady Luck eluded him on his ODI debut, she was by his side today as the edges found the gaps and sped away from the boundary. The Australian commentators asked their Indian counterparts, “Where have you been hiding this fellow?” 

On 99, Dhawan blocked and ran for his life towards the non-striker’s end. The desperate dive got him the coveted landmark — and the Test record — as he rose to celebrate the moment. Meanwhile, the ball went to the ropes for four overthrows to add insult to Australia’s injury. He scored all his runs in one session as he was unbeaten on nought at lunch. The 100 had come off only 85 balls — the fastest ton by a debutant in the history of the game. It contained 21 fours, which makes it a fantastic 84 runs in boundaries! He broke West Indian Dwayne Smith’s feat of scoring the previous ton off 93 deliveries.

Dhawan has become the 13th Indian to score a hundred on Test debut. Suresh Raina was the last Indian to enter the club. The Delhi southpaw has joined the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sehwag and Gundappa Viswanath to name a few. Dhawan’s success in a series that has given much joy to India augurs well for India’s future. 

Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag’s struggles had India in copious problems as the once prolific firm failed to provide good starts. In the last game Vijay showed great resilience and scripted a determined hundred. Now, it is Dhawan who has joined the party. It is said that well begun is half done, but India’s new opening pair have a lot of work to do to establish themselves in the long run. For now, India can hold on to hope and celebrate Dhawan’s success.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

Shikhar Dhawan magic at Mohali: Read all the stories here
 

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Central Zone 68/0 at Lunch; trail by 35 runs

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Jesse Ryder claims he still has the passion to represent New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2015

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Allan Border claims Michael Clarke’s field setting ‘against spirit of cricket’

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner to keep wickets after Brad Haddin injures shoulder

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Ali Murtaza, Piyush Chawla restrict South Zone to 379; Central trail by 35 runs at lunch

Jesse Ryder gets World Cup 2015 lifeline; picked for New Zealand A squad to tour UAE

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here