It was only a few weeks back that I saw Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan put on a 100 runs playing for the Rest of India. So, it was really pleasing to see them put on 100-plus runs for India in a Test match this time. But I tell you, there was nothing in that Irani Cup that could have prepared us for what Dhawan did at Mohali on Saturday.
And, what really stood out for me was his attitude. He played his first Test like it was just another Ranji game. I don't think it was an act of supreme confidence when he walked out to play his first Test innings. I am inclined to believe, it was more a genuine feeling that he had deep inside that said, 'You know what, this is really not that big a deal'.
For us, initial days in Test cricket were like a do-or-die situation. If we did not make it here, it would be a few Ranji games and then a 9 to 5 job. With more options opening up for modern-day cricketers, we may start seeing more free-spirited young cricketers who still value Test cricket but will play it like it's meant to be played, 'like a game' and not like it is a matter of life and death.
(The writer is a former India batsman)