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
 

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: David Miller helps KXIP register 4-wicket victory

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 4: Highlights

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Pananmal Punjabi: A nonagenarian Test opener

Chris Cairns cleaning bus shelters? Why?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights

CLT20 2014: KXIP skipper George Bailey praises Akshar Patel

CLT20 2014: Glenn Maxwell thrilled with two close games at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: David Miller helps KXIP register 4-wicket victory

George Bailey dismissed for 7; Kings XI Punjab 127 for 5

Virender Sehwag out leg-before; Kings XI Punjab 111 for 4

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

CLT20 2014: Mitchell Marsh stakes his claim for a spot in Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad with late blitz for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 4: Highlights

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: Barbados Tridents’ likely XI

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate to air on October 5

Latest Cancer Research: Biosensors to detect risk of developing cancer

World Alzheimer’s Day 2014: Book to spread awareness about dementia

From Coke Zero to Mahindra Scorpio, the changing face of Indian e-commerce

Wickedleak Wammy Desire 3 tablet with 7-inch display and Android KitKat launched for Rs 5,999

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7 winner Ashish Sharma: I have had thoughts of quitting the show several times

CLT20 2014: KXIP skipper George Bailey praises Akshar Patel

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here