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Shikhar Dhawan cashes in on friendly foe Rashid Khan after record ton

India’s left-handed opener became the first Indian to score a century before lunch on the first day of a Test, in the historic inaugural game for Afghanistan in Bangalore on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Jun 14, 2018 22:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
Shikhar Dhawan,Afghanistan Cricket team,India Cricket team
India's Shikhar Dhawan acknowledges the applause of the crowd as he walks back to the pavillion after losing his wicket on the first day of the one-off cricket test match against Afghanistan.(PTI)

Shikhar Dhawan made the most of a lacklustre start by the Afghanistan bowlers on Thursday, becoming the first Indian batsman to score a century before lunch on the opening day of a Test.

His 107 off 96 balls, after joining a select list that had only five batsmen including Don Bradman, along with Murali Vijay’s 105 was the cornerstone on which India amassed 347/6 on a rain-hit first day at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

With the effort, the left-handed batsman surpassed Virender Sehwag, who had missed out on that distinction by one run, scoring 99 not out against West Indies at Gros Islet, St Lucia, in June 2006.

Dhawan said he backed his instincts and went with the flow, trying to stay positive.

“I backed my style of play and the process that I have. I play with the same mindset and stay positive. I was coming off a good IPL season as well and that too helped me. I am happy that I managed to do well,” said the opener, who put on 168 runs with Vijay for the first wicket.

Dhawan said he didn’t realise he had broken a record till he returned to the dressing room.

“It feels great, I didn’t know that nobody had scored a 100 before lunch (on Day 1) but when I came to the dressing room I came to know that no one had done it and it felt great,” Dhawan said.

After being hammered all round the park, Afghanistan made a comeback with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman troubling India’s middle-order batsmen. On Rashid struggling against him, Dhawan said he had the advantage of knowing the bowler well as they both play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL.

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“They came back very well. It is their first game and I am sure they are going to learn a lot of things. I enjoyed the battle because I dominated. He is a great bowler and can take wickets. I just went with the flow. The advantage I had was that I have played him a lot in the nets, so I was used to his bowling and that helped.”

Dhawan said he will not read much into the middle-order struggle to get Rashid and Mujeeb away and that everyone can’t play the same way as he did against the spinners.

“They have their own game and the team is of different characters. Vijay has a different approach to batting. For me, all have different qualities and have different plans on how to approach an innings.”

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 20:22 IST