Virender Sehwag has a few things in common with Test cricket's latest hero, Shikhar Dhawan. They are both Delhiites and have scored centuries on Test debut. This is besides their attacking approach to batting.
To say Sehwag is delighted with his teammate's performance in the Mohali Test is an understatement of sorts. The dropped opener is over the moon and did not hold back the praise brush while waxing eloquent when he spoke to MiD DAY from Delhi on Sunday.
Sehwag was amazed at the poise Dhawan showed while taking on the Australian bowlers on Day Three of the third Test here. "This was his first Test match, but he didn't seem overawed by the occasion and atmosphere. He just went on to play a magnificent innings," said Sehwag, who made his Test debut hundred in Bloemfontein on India's 2001-02 tour to South Africa.
There was more of the high praise: "I cannot recall any player in world cricket playing such an effortless innings on Test debut. He crucified the Australian attack. Don't forget the pressure of a 400-plus score by the opposition on the opening batsman.
I'm really proud of our very own Shikhar. I have played a lot with him for Delhi and North Zone but I've never seen him play such a beautiful innings. He is bindaas and this reflected in his innings."
On Saturday evening, Sehwag was quick to send his mate a text message that said, "well done, buddy. Great knock. Keep going." Unfortunately, Dhawan could add only two runs to his overnight score of 185 when he was caught by Ed Cowan at silly point off Nathan Lyon.
Dhawan would have become the sixth player to score a double century on Test debut. All the same, Sehwag reckoned that Dhawan has built the foundation for India to win here and go three-up in the series.