Mumbai: Speedster Varun Aaron, who became the 273rd player to represent India in Test cricket, found it strange that he was replacing his close friend Umesh Yadav in his debut match against the West Indies here on Tuesday.
"It was strange. He (Umesh) played two Tests. But being a fast bowler, I suppose they wanted to give him rest before the one-dayers. It was strange though," the 22-year-old Jharkhand bowler told reporters at the end of the first day's play in the third Test at the Wankhede stadium.
Varun, who learnt about his debut last night, hoped that he would do well at the ground where he made his ODI debut, after ending the day with figures of 16-3-47-0.
"I got to know last evening that I would be making my debut. (VVS) Laxman handed me the Test cap. It was a tough day. Hopefully, it would get better from here.
"Actually, I made U-19 debut at the Wankhede. It's been my ground of debuts. My one-day debut (here) was pretty decent. I just hope that I do well here," the speedster, who took three for 24 in his maiden ODI appearance against England at the same venue a month ago, said.
Varun feels he has fared pretty well on his first day at office, barring his third spell where he could have done better.
"First ball, everybody is tense bowling their first spell. So it was but natural. I feel my first two spells were okay but I could have bowled better in my third spell. It's not going to come your way all the time. You have to work hard for your wickets, especially in Tests. And on such a wicket. it's not easy. So I will come back and try tomorrow."
Varun felt that the wicket was good as compared to the other venues in India.
"The wicket wasn't bad. I feel a lot of runs would be scored here over the four days. I feel in India this is not a bad wicket at all. It's not going to change much. There is a lot of grass which is going to bind it. It is not likely to break much.
"There was a little dampness but it was just a matter of seeing off the the first 45 minutes-one hour. If they could see it off, they could continue. There were a few close shaves in the beginning," he said.
Varun said that one or two more wickets would have helped their cause.
"Had one or two wickets come our way, it would have been different," he said, adding that he hoped that the team would be able to restrict the West Indies to a total below 400.
He made light of the three catches dropped during the day by VVS Laxman, Dhoni and Rahul Dravid, which saw the West Indies losing only two wickets throughout the day. "In cricket, catches toh miss hote hi hain (catches do get dropped in cricket)."
On whether he bowled too short, he said, "The first ball I bowled went down the legside. It was out of shape. The ball was coming on to the bat easily. Even when it was changed, it wasn't easy. But on the whole, I feel I bowled an okay line. It wasn't swinging, just the odd ball beating the bat."
Asked what advice skipper MS Dhoni had given him, he said, "He didn't give me any tips. (He) asked me to do what I was doing today, do my my natural stuff."
Being part of the team set-up for the past two months had helped him, he added.
To a query on the lesson he had learnt on the first day of his debut Test, he said, "You have to work hard for your wickets and each spell has to be of the same intensity."