Mohali: Shikhar Dhawan’s debut Test innings on Saturday defies reality and is more a stuff of fiction. Being unbeaten on 185 off just 168 balls, that too against Australia, is just unbelievable. He is a hero now. Quite aptly then somebody, during the media conference, compared his moustache with Akshay Kumar’s in Rowdy Rathore.
The following are excerpts
Feelings after such a successful debut
Feeling really nice… I would like to thank God … It was a dream to be able to play so well in my debut Test… So, feeling really good.
On being well prepared for the big day
I have been working hard since I got dropped from the ODIs… I worked really hard and changed myself. Now I’m a more mature player. I guess I was waiting for a chance… I did pretty well in domestic cricket. So I waited for the opportunity to play international cricket… And then today, everything went my way.
If he was nervous, because his shots didn’t seem so
(Smiles) Nervousness was there, but maybe you guys couldn’t see it. I was definitely nervous, but of course not as nervous as I used to be earlier.
Whether he was playing a bit too fast
I was not playing my shots in a hurry… The way the boundaries were coming, it looked as if I was in a hurry to score runs. The flow was nice and the shot selection was good as well. I was playing according to the wicket and I don’t think I was rushing things.
If the strategy was to play aggressive cricket
There was no as such strategy to play aggressively… The simple plan was to go out there and play.
On scoring a century on debut
It was a very satisfying feeling… I still remember that when I made my debut in one-dayers, which was also against Australia, I got out on zero. Then Dhonibhai and Raina told me that players who have got out on zero for India, have went on to become big players. Today I was nervous, I was again making a debut and it was again against Australia… But then everything went well and I was very happy that I made the most of the opportunity that I got.
If the wicket was helping batsmen
The wicket is pretty good for batting… Me and Vijay played some good shots which helped us to build a partnership. Yes, I was preparing for this day for a long time…
On what was going on his mind when he was caught off the crease even before the first ball was bowled
When I was caught short of the crease even before the first ball of the innings was bowled, I thought that history would be created… That someone got out even before the first ball was bowled! But later I was laughing about it.
If he was familiar with Mitchell Starc’s bowling, having played him in the Emerging meets
Yes, I have played against Starc and Pattinson in the Emerging meets… But still, they are very good bowlers and I just wanted to respect the good deliveries and wait for the loose balls.
On receiving his Test cap from Sachin Tendulkar
It was a great moment for me to get the cap from Sachinpaaji… It was a great honour for me to play alongside him… As a kid, you dream about such stuff… So it was a dream come true for me. He said, ‘We all know you as a gutsy player, you have been playing very well in the domestic meets… So we would like to see your gutsy shots, your gutsy nature.’
On his family
I’ve an Australian wife… She is half Bengali, half British. She lives in Melbourne. And I’ve got two daughters. I would like to thank them because they have been praying a lot for me. It’s great moment for me and my family.