Match: Third Test
Venue: PCA, Mohali
Significance: Filling in for an explosive senior opener like Virender Sehwag might have seemed an uphill task but Dhawan’s record-shattering century on debut helped India dominate the Aussie bowling attack despite their strong total of 408 in the first innings. After Smith and Starc’s frustrating partnership, and having lost the opening day’s play to persistent rains, India needed quick runs on the board to force a result in the game. The dashing Delhi opener responded well to the pressure, hitting a century on debut, off just 85 balls!
Together with Murali Vijay (83*), Shikhar added 283 runs for the first wicket partnership as India’s new-found openers made a mockery of Australia’s bowling attack. And Dhawan did not just stop there. He finished at 185*, and as India resume their innings on Day 4, Dhawan would be eyeing the unique record of scoring the first double-ton on debut for India. His innings, studded with a mammoth 33 boundaries and two sixes, not only became the fastest ever ton by a debutant, but also registered the record for the highest individual score on debut by an Indian.