Mohali: An awe-inspiring Shikhar Dhawan made the day his own by bludgeoning his way to an unbeaten 168-ball 185 -- the fastest-ever Test century by a debutant, as a dominant India left Australia bruised and battered in the third match of the series here today.
The hosts finished the day on a commanding 283 for no loss with Murali Vijay giving Dhawan company on a well-made 83 off 181 deliveries after Australia were bowled out for a competitive 408 in the first session.
The 27-year-old Dhawan was on a record-breaking spree as he raced to his century off a mere 85 balls, and was going strong, when the stumps were drawn on the third day of the penultimate Test, with the hosts still trailing by 125 runs
The Delhi left-hander surpassed the record of earlier fastest hundred on debut, which was in the name of West Indian Dwayne Smith, who reached his ton in 93 balls in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2004.
In the process, Dhawan also became the highest individual scorer for India on debut, beating the previous record held by Gundappa Vishwanath (137) against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 1969-70.
It was a breathtaking assault by Dhawan who unleashed a flurry of strokes on both sides of the wicket to leave the visitors in a daze as the Indians scored at a brisk run rate of 4.87.
Dhawan slammed 33 fours and two sixes during his blistering innings, during which he did not leave a single corner at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (PCA) untouched.
The rollicking Dhawan-Vijay association was also the highest for the first wicket at this ground, and the best for India against Australia.
India smashed 127 runs in the final session, with a whopping 418 runs being scored on the day.
Murali Vijay played his part in the run-fest, contributing an unbeaten 85 with the help of 10 fours and two sixes.