Mohali: After signalling his arrival in Test cricket with a bang, debutant Shikhar Dhawan on Saturday said it was a great moment to receive his maiden cap from Sachin Tendulkar, who told him to be as 'gutsy' in international cricket as he has been in the domestic circuit.
"It was a great moment to get the Test cap form Sachin paaji. I have watched him since I was a kid, it was a dream come true," said Dhawan after his record-breaking feat. Asked if Tendulkar had an advice for the 27-year-old batsman from Delhi, Dhawan said, "He told me 'we have known you as a very gutsy player in domestic cricket, now we hope to see you as a gutsy player in international cricket, so show us some guts'."
An awe-inspiring Dhawan made the day his own by bludgeoning his way to an unbeaten 168-ball 185, the fastest-ever Test century by a debutant, as a dominant India left Australia bruised and battered in the third match of the series, here on Saturday. The hosts finished the day at a commanding 283 for three, with Murali Vijay giving Dhawan company on 83 runs 181 balls.
The 27-year-old Dhawan was on a record-breaking spree as he raced to his century off a mere 85 balls, and was going strong, when the stumps were drawn on the third day of the penultimate Test, after Australia were bowled out for 408 in the first session. He also breezed past Gundappa Vishwanaths record of being the highest Indian scorer on debut, and also the first Indian opener to score a century on debut.
Meanwhile, the debutant said he was a bundle of 'nerves' while approaching milestones in his mesmerising knock. The left-handed batsman rewrote one record after another, before proclaiming that he 'belongs' to the big league. Dhawan announced his arrival on the Test arena with a blistering 168-ball 185 the fastest by a debutant in the history of Test cricket, giving India a toehold in the penultimate match of the series.
"You couldn't feel it, but I was really nervous as I approached my fifty and century," said Dhawan after the end of the third day's play, with India sitting pretty at 283 for no loss in reply to Australias 408. Asked if he feels he belongs to the league, the 27-year-old Dhawan, though somewhat repeated the line on a lighter note.
"I was not in a hurry, the fours were just coming, the shot selection was good and I was in flow," Dhawan, who had started his first-class career nine years ago, said. "I have been working hard since being dropped from the Indian team I have changed myself, I was waiting for a chance. I am happy that I grabbed it with both hands. I am feeling good, I thank God, it has always been a dream to score runs on debut," he said.
The Delhi boy was quick to thank his half Bengali, half British wife, who is settled in Australia. "I have got an Australian wife who lives in Melbourne with two daughters. I thank my wife and kids, they were praying. I spoke to my wife and it was a very emotional for her," he answered when queried by an Australian scribe.