One more thing which stood out about this debut innings was the attitude of the debutant. As many have said, he was fearless. Yes that and much more. He was playing as if he was having nets and the senior bowlers in his club were taking a break. He was not just nonchalant , he was dismissive of the bowlers, the entire opposition, the setting and the occasion. After seeing him for a half hour I was wondering if the fellow had had too much to drink of the more potent stuff. But then he wasn't throwing his bat around, hit almost nothing in the air. It was unreal how every ball seemed to be exactly in the place where he thought it would be when he decided I am going to do this or do that. The gaps in the field seemed everywhere.
I missed Vishwanth's debut hundred against Lawry's Australians because that was in Kanpur but those who saw it were amazed that this was a man making his debut . Then he came to Delhi and, although he did not get a hundred, batted absolutely delightfully and one wondered how a youngster could bat with such freedom. Of course Vishwantah was facing a far better attack and he displayed every stroke in the game even in the forty odd he scored but I did think back of that debut and realised that Vishwanath did not display the disdain for the opposition and the occasion that Shikhar Dhawan did. It is not surprising that everyone is asking where have India been hiding him. That is what I thought as well for he was playing as he may find difficult to do again . . .
Manjrekar asked Laxman about what kind of a character this guy is and Laxman made a startling remark. He said words to the effect "you saw that amazing innings - that is Shikhar Dhawan. All that positivity, that attitude, that devil may care outlook is Shikhar Dhawan" I was stunned when he first said that innings was Shikhar Dhawan for it is a great compliment in itself.
Dhawan comes from a Punjabi household like myself. Punjabis, inspire of all the material progress they have made since they came as one of the biggest refugee communities in 1947 after partition, are basically conservative people. They are gadget freaks, have loud lifestyles and everything about them is loud and about display but at heart and in matters of culture and social norms they are conservative, by and large. The rat tail under the very short cropped crew cut, the double ear rings and the moustache to twirl are the kind of things a Punjabi boy will do but families and Punjabis in general do not take such stuff too well. But youngsters will be youngster. What surprised me more was that Shikhar fell in love with and married a Bengali girl from Australia and she still lives down under with their two daughters and he visits heras often as he can
Trust me for a Punjabi that is very surprising and eyebrow raising. I think it says something about a truly modern young lad from Delhi who takes life as it comes, lives it on his own terms, does his own thing and does not bother if the world thinks of some of it as an attitude of irreverence - his attitude to the solemn occasion of his debut might, just might, be explained by this.
I believe he has a custom made and VERY powerful motor cycle and will prefer to rocket around on that than any BMW's or Mercs that the run-of-the-mill Punjabi youth will and do.
It should be fun following this boy's career