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Century on début for Shikhar Dhawan


The first day of the third Test was washed out by the rain. Although the home side ended the day 2 on a strong note, the first session of the day three belonged to Australia. Steve Smith – once a leg spinner, now a batsman (who may bowl) impressed with his footwork, patience and array of stroke play. On the other hand Starc's well-timed 99 (he deserved a hundred) would make him a contender in the fragile Australian middle order.

But the last two sessions of the day three would be dearer to Indian fans. And considering, the ability of storytelling is ingrained; the Shikhar Dhawan century on début would be a matter of obsession for generations. He may or may not add anything to his day three tally of 183, but Shikhar Dhawan's dominating batting display has affected many. And here is the list of those few.

The man himself : Dhawan is neither the first nor would he be the last player to score a century on début. However, the audacity and ruthlessness would be the stand-out features of this knock. If India win the Test, the value of this knock would be greater. But even if India would not, Shikhar Dhawan's inning would be remembered for a long time. Short-sighted it may be, but this century confirmed his place in the final XI for the final Test of this series and for the tour of South Africa in November 2013.

Australia : Had Australia appealed for a run-out even before the first ball was bowled, the century would not have been scored. But Australia merely mock-appealed and India were glad to accept the outcome. The 0-2 scoreline in favour of India and homeworkgate were more than enough to trouble Australia. But Dhawan’s knock must have re-confirmed their belief in the cliché of adding insult to the injury.

Cheteshwar Pujara : Since Pujara’s second coming, the official designation to bat at number three was made null and void. Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag with their performances had quite frequently turned a number three into an unofficial opener. Premature may be, but for now, Dhawan had hit a pause button on that record. The fans and Pujara himself had been in a continuous refusal with the idea of him warming the dressing room chair for too long. But post a good rest:; his troubled knees must be thanking Dhawan for reducing the overtime. Indian cricket team and Pujara should not mind that.

Virender Sehwag : Like his batting it would be insane to underestimate Sehwag’s contribution towards Indian cricket. However, the bad form overstayed and eventually Sehwag had to be dropped from Team India. Strange things have happened in Indian cricket. But post Dhawan’s blitzkrieg, even those strange standards would not help Sehwag to make a comeback. Should he announce his retirement?

Indian selectors : There were many who appreciated and then lauded the selection committee’s decision to drop Sehwag. Simultaneously, there was a bunch of ex-players who felt that Sehwag should have played. But Dhawan’s knock following Murali Vijay’s impressive performances in the last few innings reconfirmed the selection committee’s call to go ahead with a new set of openers. Similarly, it also underlined which openers would travel to South Africa in the latter half of 2013. Just like Dhawan, Sandeep Patil and Co. must be pleased.

And folks, that’s a wrap.

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