Colombo:Suresh Raina on Thursday became the 12th Indian cricketer to score a Test century on debut with a fluent 120-run knock against Sri Lanka in the ongoing second Test here.
Raina's century comes nine years after Virender Sehwag achieved the similar feat against South Africa.
The diminutive left-hander, who came in place of an unwell Yuvraj Singh for the second Test against Sri Lanka, made full use of the opportunity to make a case for himself in the lower-middle order of the team.
Raina got to the three-figure mark by elegantly driving paceman Dammika Prasad to off-side boundary. He took 192 balls to complete his century.
His knock came off 228 balls overall with 12 fours and two sixes. he was dismissed when Ajantha Mandis had him caught by Kumar Sangakkara at short midwicket in the 141st over of the Indian innings.
The Uttar Pradesh batsman has been doing well consistently in the shorter version of the game and even led the team in a tri-series in Zimbabwe.
Raina's innings today came at a crucial juncture as India were chasing a massive total of 642 to stay afloat in the Test match.
Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin, who also scored a Test hundred on debut in 1984 against England in Kolkata, lavished praise on Raina.
"Today my own memories of a debut-century came back after 20-25 years. I hope he scores more and matures as a Test batsman soon. He is an attacking and stylish player and hope lot of runs come from him in future," Azharuddin, now a Congress MP from Moradabad, told reporters.
A list of Indian players who scored a Test century on debut:
1) Lala Amarnath 118 v England (1933)
2) Deepak Shodhan 110 v Pakistan (1952)
3) AG Kripal Singh 100* v New Zealand (1955)
4) Abbas Ali Baig 112 v England (1959)
5) Hanumant Singh 105 v England (1964)
6) Gundappa Viswanath 137 v Australia (1969)
7) Surinder Amarnath 124 v New Zealand (1976)
8) Mohammed Azharuddin 110 v England (1984)
9) Praveen Amre 103 v South Africa (1992)
10) Sourav Ganguly 131 v England (1996)
11) Virender Sehwag 105 v South Africa (2001)
12) Suresh Raina 120 v Sri Lanka (2010).