Debutant Shreyas Iyer slammed his maiden Test century on Day 2 of the India vs New Zealand first Test at the Green Park in Kanpur on Friday. The right-hander got to three figures with a couple off Kyle Jamieson in the morning session. Iyer became the 16th Indian to score a century on Test debut. The last debutant to achieve the same was Prithvi Shaw, who had scored sparkling hundred against the West Indies in Rajkot in October 2018. The first Indian to score a century on debut was Lala Amarnath in 1933. The others in the list are RH Shodhan, Kripal Singh, Abbas Ali Baig, Hanumant Singh, Gundappa Viswanath, Surinder Amarnath, Mohammed Azharuddin, Pravin Amre, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma.
Iyer, who got his Test cap from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday, also became the second Indian after Viswanath to score a Test hundred on debut in Kanpur. Viswanath had done it way back in 1969 against Australia. Iyer is the third Indian to score a ton on Test debut against New Zealand after Kripal Singh and Surinder Amarnath.
Resuming on an overnight score of 75, Iyer started off with a flick off his pads that raced away to the fence in the second over of the day. It was the first of many to come. The 26-year-old hit as many as five fours off Kyle Jamieson, who was New Zealand’s most impressive bowler with three wickets on Thursday, scoring at better than run-a-ball on a hazy winter morning.
India did not get off to the ideal start as Ravindra Jadeja, who had put together a century stand with Iyer to bring India’s campaign back on track on Day 1, was cleaned up by Tim Southee with a beautiful in-dipper. But Iyer, at the other end, made sure there was no respite for the visitors as he kept finding the boundary on regular intervals, forcing Kane Williamson to at times set a defensive field when he was on strike.
Iyer was dismissed for 105 just after the drinks break when he chipped one straight to covers off Southee becoming his fourth victim.
Iyer’s free-flowing innings impressed former India batter VVS Laxman, who said the right-hander transformation from white-ball cricket to the red-ball was seamless.
“The bench is strong as far as Indian cricket is concerned. This might be Sheyas Iyer’s first Test but he is an established international cricketer (in white ball). He knew when to attack. When to be a little subdued. What was really good to see was that he did not compromise on natural game.
“The last first class match he had played was almost two years back. The toughest challenge for a youngster is the transformation from red-ball cricket to white-ball cricket. The temperament is different, the shot selection is challenged. Iyer absorbed the pressure and showed what a strong character he is,” Laxman said on Star Sports.
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