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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Shikhar Dhawan’s Galle ton in India-Sri Lanka Test reminds him of debut century

Shikhar Dhawan scored a career-best 190 on Day 1 of the first Test between India and Sri Lanka at Galle.

india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 Updated: Jul 26, 2017 20:36 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Galle
India's Shikhar Dhawan celebrates scoring a century during the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday.
India's Shikhar Dhawan celebrates scoring a century during the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday.(AP)

Had things stayed according to Shikhar Dhawan’s original plans, he would have been holidaying with his family in Melbourne rather than playing in the opening Test against Sri Lanka which started at Galle on Wednesday.

After the Indian opener plundered 190 runs at a strike rate of 113 plus. The Sri Lanka bowlers would surely have preferred that.

Dhawan was not part of the original squad and was lucky to get a double break against Sri Lanka. He was a replacement in the squad for Murali Vijay and then got into the playing eleven when KL Rahul reported ill at the last minute.

READ | Cheteshwar Pujara hits 12th century in Galle Test between India vs Sri Lanka

“My plans were to go to Melbourne and spend time with my family, do training and get fit for the one-day series. I was in Hong Kong actually on holiday, and from there I flew back to India and joined the team. I think destiny had a different plan for me. I am happy and I am thankful to God,” said Dhawan after a fruitful day for India.

Like old times

Dhawan’s career-best knock helped the team reach 399 for three.

The ease with which Dhawan batted against the Sri Lankan bowlers showed he was enjoying the conditions. After adding hundred runs in a session, post lunch a double hundred was there for the taking. But Dhawan perished playing a loose shot. He admitted he was disappointed, more so for getting out at the wrong time – the last over before tea.

“Of course, I was disappointed I got out for 190, I would have loved to have scored a 200. More than that, I got out at the wrong time. But the way I was playing, I was confident I could clear the mid-off fielder and I was almost hitting a boundary per over. I was in that zone and I backed myself. Unfortunately, it didn’t go my way.

“A bit disappointed that I couldn’t score 200 but happy and thankful to God I scored 190.”

READ | Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh engage in friendly banter over ‘chappals’

The way he dominated the bowling, similarities are being made with his 187 on debut against Australia at Mohali in 2013. Dhawan rated the knock as his most fluent since debut.

“My debut innings was more like this one. Even against Bangladesh, I scored a quick hundred but this was a bit more better than the Bangladesh one,” Dhawan said about his fifth Test hundred. His fourth hundred had also come at Galle, in 2015.

Staying cheerful

He said: “I am scoring runs over here, so that is a special thing for me.”

The innings has come as a huge relief for the Delhi cricketer. He was going through a lean patch in Test cricket and was out of the team since October 2016, missing 11 Tests in that period.

READ | Shikhar Dhawan slams 190 to hand India the advantage vs Sri Lanka in Galle Test

How did he cope?

“Of course, I felt pressure at that moment (when going through the lean patch). And when I got out of the Test side, it hurt me. But I moved on and started playing domestic cricket, for Delhi. I don’t like to be sad all the time. I like to be happy and so I was enjoying myself over there. I knew if things have to come, they will come my way. I don’t want to run around things too much. I knew if it has to come, it will come.”

Dhawan said the conditions were good for batting and revealed that the Sri Lankan spinners made things slightly easier for him by bowling on his leg-side, which is his strength.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 20:10 IST