Offspinner Parvez Rasool, with figures of 7 for 45 in Chennai, was doing more than merely welcoming the Australians on their edge-of-seat tour of India. Offspin and Australians do not go well together in any case, but as they stumbled to 241 all out in a rash of shot-making, Rasool was also marking a milestone for cricket in his home state, the politically-troubled Jammu & Kashmir, and raising a toast to his Ranji Trophy coach Bishan Singh Bedi.
Bedi's most memorable advice to him over the past two seasons, Rasool said, came when he was working hard on developing his doosra. Rasool laughs when he talks of it: "Bedi sir said to me, 'If you bowl the pehla (first one) well, why do you need the doosra?" The word "doosra," when translated from Urdu, merely means the second one.
On a pitch that offered slow turn at the Guru Nanak College ground, Rasool showed control of flight and generated bounce, having Steve Smith caught at short leg and the acting captain Matthew Wade caught in the deep. Smith's dismissal triggered the slide and the last five Australian wickets fell to Rasool.
Australian opener Ed Cowan said Rasool had "held the attack up nicely." India offspinner R Ashwin sent out his compliments on Twitter: "Well done to parvez rasol. Such a nice lad. So happy for him."
Bedi called Rasool a complete package. "He has a clean action, uses his shoulder well and has a deceptive faster one," he said. "He is an orthodox offspinner, and is a brilliant all-round cricketer and a very good athlete."
His advice to Rasool this season, he said, had been simple. "I told him to be himself. When batting, hit the bloody thing, when bowling turn the bloody thing." Rasool finished the Ranji season top of both batting and bowling charts for J&K, with 594 runs, including two centuries, and 33 wickets.
Rasool became the first cricketer from his state to be selected in an Indian team to play an international side, when he was picked for India A against England in a warm-up match before the one-day series. Rasool said today that his strength was being able to control his flight. "I was able to bowl to my strengths today and remembered what Bedi sir said to me. Flight is what will make you deceive the batsman first up, don't worry if you're hit for six or four, toss the ball up."
Rasool belongs to Bij Behara, a town in the Anantnag district in the south of Kashmir valley. He came through the junior ranks, representing his state from the Under-14s onwards. His father batted for Anantnag district and an elder brother Asif played two T20 matches for J&K in 2009.
Rasool took to cricket watching Abdul Qayuum, one of Kashmir's best known players, rise through the ranks to play for North Zone. "I started my cricket based on what he had done … it is a very big thing for me to bowl against an international team today. Inshallah, if I get another chance, I will do better. I want to tell all the youngsters in my state today that if they work hard, you will get a chance."