Shikhar Dhawan created history on Saturday by becoming the fastest debutant to score a century and the only the 13th Indian to do so. Shikhar Dhawan will hold the record for the highest score by an Indian batsman on debut which is a scintillating 185 which is a tall score that is not going to be easily surpassed by another debutant in the coming years. Even considering the poor quality of the Aussie attack, Dhawan’s knock deserves to be in the list of top 10 hundreds by Indians on debut for his sheer domination of the bowling attack. On the occasion, we look back at a few other sensational tons by Indians on debut
Lala Amarnath: He made 118 during the Test against England at the Gymkhana Ground, Bombay (now Mumbai) in December 1933. The knock was historic since India were minnows in Test cricket back then, having just been granted Test status. Not surprisingly, India lost the game by nine wickets, but Amarnath’s stroke-filled innings, which comprised 21 fours gave the beleaguered Indians enough reason to cheer.
Abbas Ali Baig: His knock of 112 against England in July 1959 was all the more impressive since it came away from home. Baig scored his runs at Old Trafford, Manchester against an attack comprising of big names like Fred Trueman and Ted Dexter among others. India lost the game by 171 runs, but Baig’s ton remains memorable.
Hanumant Singh: He played a wonderful knock of 105 against England at the Kotla in February 1964. Singh batted for 230 minutes and hit 16 fours as the game ended in a high-scoring draw.
Gundappa Vishwanath: The little genius gave proof of his exceptional talent in his very first Test. Against Australia at Kanpur in November 1969, he creamed his way to 137 in India’s second innings, a knock comprising 25 boundaries. The match ended in a draw.
Surinder Amarnath: Although he had an unfulfilled career, it was one that had the perfect start. Against New Zealand at Auckland in 1976, Amarnath displayed exemplary strokeplay en route to his 124. Aided by Prasanna’s magical eight-wicket spell in Kiwis’ second innings, India won the Test by eight wickets.
Mohammad Azharuddin: Azhar’s love affair with Eden Gardens began in his very first Test. Batting at number five, he made 110 with the help of 10 fours in 322 balls. Azhar went on to play many such sublime knocks for the rest of his career.
Pravin Amre: The ex-Mumbai batsman’s ton was arguably the best on debut by an Indian. His 103 was achieved at Durban, one of world’s bounciest pitches, in November 1992, against a South African pace attack that comprised Allan Donald, Brett Schultz and Brian McMillan.
Sourav Ganguly: The elegant left-hander mesmerised with his very first Test knock at the mecca of cricket. At Lord’s against England in June 1996, he caressed his way to 131, piercing the off-side with consummate ease. It was a defining moment in Indian cricket, as Ganguly went on to engineer a turnaround in the team’s fortunes.
Virender Sehwag: The brilliant Delhi batsman blasted 105 in his first innings, against South Africa at Bloemfontein in November 2001. Sehwag’s blistering knock came off 173 balls and featured 19 fours. Test cricket was to chance forever.
--By A Cricket Analyst