Kanpur: Shreyas Iyer’s talent was never in doubt. But thanks to his exploits in IPL, he was branded as a white-ball specialist, and made his Team India debut in ODIs and T20Is four years ago.
Given his pedigree and temperament, though, the elegant Mumbai batsman was cut out for Test cricket, the ultimate challenge in the sport. He did have to wait, because the middle-order was crowded with established batsmen. Earlier this week, he got lucky as regular captain Virat Kohli skipped the first Test against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma has been rested for the series and KL Rahul picked up an injury.
Shreyas got the nod ahead of Surya Kumar Yadav, and grabbed the chance with both hands.
He overcame early nerves to score a classy century in the first innings and followed it up with another high-quality knock of 65. He thus became the first Indian batsman to score a century and half-century in his debut Test match.
That’s quite an achievement, considering the distinguished list of 15 Indian batsmen who made 100 or more in their first Test before him. But Shreyas surpassed all of them by crossing 50 in the second innings.
LIST OF INDIAN CENTURIONS ON TEST DEBUT
* Lala Amarnath — 118 vs England
* Deepak Shodan – 110 vs Pakistan
* AG Kripal Singh – 100 not out vs New Zealand
* Abbas Ali Baig – 112 vs England
* Hanumant Singh – 105 vs England
* Gundappa Viswanath – 137 vs Australia
* Surinder Amarnath – 124 vs New Zealand
* Mohammad Azharuddin — 110 vs England
* Pravin Amre – 103 vs South Africa
* Sourav Ganguly – 131 vs England
* Virender Sehwag – 105 vs South Africa
* Suresh Raina – 120 vs Sri Lanka
* Shikhar Dhawan – 187 vs Australia
* Rohit Sharma – 127 vs West Indies
* Prithvi Shaw – 134 vs West Indies
* Shreyas Iyer – 105 vs New Zealand.
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