When the third day of the third day started MS Dhoni must have thought they will run through the Australian tailenders. But it didn’t turn out that way as Steve Smith batted beautifully with Mitchell Starc for the 8th wicket adding 97 runs before Smith dragged his foot a bit too far and gave Ojha his second wicket. Starc then went on to add 51 valuable runs with Nathan Lyon. He fell one short of a well-deserved century; probably the nervous nineties got the better of him. Australian innings finally ended at 408. They will be mighty pleased to reach cross 400 after the failure of the middle order even when they got a century opening partnership.
This was beginning of what can be called a leather hunt day for the Australians as Shikhar Dhawan emulated his idol – Virender Sehwag displaying no signs of nerves and punished the depleted Aussie attack for the entire day and blasted his way to a Ton of just 85 deliveries – Fastest by a debutant. His batting style matched his attitude. He has that swagger in him which only Sir Viv Richards demonstrated on the field. Shikhar Dhawan must be really proud of this achievement knowing the fact that none of the most fearsome batsmen of this decade could do what he did. And these fearsome batsmen include the like of Tendulkar, Lara, Sehwag, Gilchrist, Ponting to name a few. When he walked off the field he gave his moustache a twirl may be it was intended for Boon and Hughes who used to intimidate their opponents. Before this all started when Shikhar Dhawan was yet to open his account was given a reprieve when Mitchell Starc accidently dropped the ball on the stumps with Dhawan out of the crease following up.
Every debutant must have dreamt of a century but for sure no one would have dreamt of what he did after that. He kept toying away with the field and ended with an unbeaten 185 from 168 balls. He was brilliant through the off side piercing the field no matter how many fielders Michael Clarke employed in that region. What was most admirable was that he didn’t hit a single shot in the air till he got to his century. He got as many as 33 boundaries. During all this Murali Vijay quietly reached to 85 playing the idle fold for Dhawan. He too must be eyeing back to back centuries against Australia. Indians must be hoping that both these players continue this way on the fourth day so that they can force a win over Australia. Australian on the other hand must be thinking of getting Dhawan out early and then dry up the runs. Atleast they will be able to get away with a draw. Few Achievements by Dhawan till now (185 not out)
Fastest Century on Debut
First Indian Opener to score Century on debut
Involved with Vijay in first 200 runs opening partnership for India against Australia
His strike rate is best ever by a Test Debutant