Most of the attention on Thursday was on Afghanistan who were making their debut in Test cricket, but Shikhar Dhawan demanded his own spotlight, becoming the first Indian batsman, and sixth overall, to score a century before lunch on the first day of a Test match. He joined Victor Trumper, Charles Macartney, Don Bradman, Majid Khan and David Warner in achieving this unique distinction. The first three instances took place before the Second World War, which means Dhawan is only the third player to score 100 in the first session of a Test in last 80 years. He went to lunch on 104 off 91 balls with 19 fours and 3 sixes. He ran only 10 of his runs.
The previous record for highest score by an India batsman in the first session of a Test was 99 runs by Virender Sehwag against West Indies in Gros Islet in 2006. Sehwag occupies three of the top five spots on this list, which is made complete by Farokh Engineer, who scored 94 runs before lunch, also against West Indies, in Chennai in 1966-67.
|V Sehwag||99*||West Indies||Gros Islet||2006|
|FM Engineer||94*||West Indies||Chennai||1966-67|
|V Sehwag||91*||Sri Lanka||Galle||2008|
|V Sehwag||87*||New Zealand||Ahmedabad||2010-11|
Habit of hundred in a session
Scoring over 100 runs in a session is nothing new for Dhawan. He did so on debut, against Australia in 2012-13, scoring 106 runs in the second session of the third day. And last year, against Sri Lanka, he smashed 126 runs in the second session of first day in Galle. Only Don Bradman - six times - has scored 100-plus runs in a session on more occasions than Dhawan. Trumper, Wally Hammond and Sehwag have also done it three times.
Dhawan's rapid big knocks
Dhawan usually plays big knocks at rapid pace. His strike-rate across seven centuries in Test cricket is a staggering 82.79. Among 38 batsmen who have scored five or more centuries since the start of 2013, only Brendon McCullum (84.79) has a higher strike-rate when he makes a century. Overall, only a handful of players have a higher bat quicker when making hundreds: Shahid Afridi (97.67), Adam Gilchrist (96.64), Kapil Dev (91.18), Warner (84.46) and Sehwag (83.49).
Bharath Seervi is stats sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.