Shreyas Iyer in the ongoing Test series against the Kiwis became the latest addition to the list of international cricketers who scored their maiden ton in their debut match. Iyer’s resilient knock of 105 off 171 deliveries made him the 16th Indian batter to have hit a century in their Test debut. In this article, we look back at the top 3 knocks of Indian cricketers who announced their arrival at the highest level of the game in style.
1. Gundappa Viswanath – 137 against Australia at Kanpur(1969)
Gundappa Viswanath the original wristy artist of Indian cricket, was a sensation in domestic cricket. Coming into the match with a lot of expectations, Viswanath had a forgettable outing in his first innings as he went back into the dressing room without troubling the scorers. In the second innings, he came into bat when India’s score was 94-2. Little did the Australian bowlers know what was going to hit them. Kanpur witnessed a genius exhibiting batsmanship of exquisite quality as he went to be the 6th Indian batter to score a century on debut.
His stellar innings of 137 consisted of 25 elegant boundaries. Viswanath’s batting masterclass saved India’s sinking ship against a mighty Australian side and the match ended in a draw.
Trivia: Gundappa Viswanath is the only cricketer to have scored a double century in his first-class debut and a century in Test match debut.
2.Rohit Sharma – 177 against West Indies at Kolkata(2013)
Rohit Sharma rediscovered himself in the year 2013. He began opening the innings in the ICC Champions Trophy, won the IPL title for MI as their captain and after a long wait, he got a call in the Test side. The West Indies Tour of India in 2013 was the farewell series for the God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar.
The Test match in Eden Gardens was Master Blaster’s penultimate test and hence was quite an emotional phase for Indian Cricket. In the first innings, Caribbean spinner Shane Shillingford dismissed Tendulkar off a doosra and India looked in a bit of trouble.
While the spectators gave a standing ovation to the Little Master, in came Debutant Rohit Sharma. Sharma was cautious at the start with MS Dhoni on the other end. After Dhoni’s wicket fell, Ravichandran Ashwin came into bat. The duo of Sharma and Ashwin stitched a dream partnership and simply bossed over the West Indies bowling unit. Both of them went on to hit their maiden tons in the red-ball format with Sharma being the 14th batter to score a century on debut. His knock of 177 runs off 301 balls is the second-highest score made by an Indian batter on his Test debut. India went on to win the match convincingly, defeating West Indies by an innings and 51 runs.
Rohit Sharma said:
“All I can say, it [the wait to make debut] was worth it, it can’t get better than this, such a memorable match, really happy with what we have achieved,”.
Sharma continued his sublime form and went on to hit another ton in Wankhede in the very next Test match.
Trivia: Rohit Sharma became the third Indian cricketer to score back-to-back centuries in the first two tests. This feat was achieved earlier by Sourav Ganguly in 1996 in England and Mohammad Azharuddin in 1984.
3. Shikhar Dhawan – 187 against Australia at Mohali(2013)
2013 saw the emergence of Shikhar Dhawan in the world of international cricket. He was the hero of India’s victorious campaign in the ICC Champion’s Trophy. But it all began with his blistering knock at Mohali. Against a formidable Australian bowling lineup, Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings with Murali Vijay. Australia had posted a total of 408 runs in their 1st innings. The Australian bowlers were left amused and looked ineffective against Dhawan’s onslaught.
Dhawan played fearless cricket and his barrage of drives was a spectacle to watch. He reached his hundred in just 85 balls as if he was playing an ODI match. He went on to score 187 runs off 174 deliveries. It was the highest score by any Indian cricketer in his Test match debut. India comfortably won the match despite Dhawan not batting in the 2nd innings due to an injury.
Trivia: Shikhar Dhawan broke Dwayne Smith’s record as the fastest centurion on debut in Tests.
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