Mumbai: Karnataka batsman KL Rahul became the first Indian cricketer to score a century on debut in One-Day Internationals when he remained unbeaten on 100 in India’s nine-wicket victory over hosts Zimbabwe in the first ODI in Harare on Saturday.
As soon as Rahul hit Hamilton Masakadza for a six over long-on to reach the three-figure mark, the 24-year-old batsman achieved the dubuious feat of being the first Indian to score a ton on ODI debut. Till date, Karnataka batsman Robin Uthappa’s 86 against England at Indore in 2006 remained the top score by any Indian on ODI debut.
Chasing a paltry target of 169, India lost make-shift opener Karun nair as early as in the fifth over with Rahul left to play the anchors role. Rahul was aptly complemented by Amabati Rayudu who scored 62.
“I enjoyed my batting. The wicket was tough, so I couldn’t be complacent. I wanted to play out the new ball, and then take it from there. I’m really satisfied with the way I carried on and stayed not out in the end,” Rahul said at the presentation ceremony at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
“I just got told by the team manager that I was the first Indian to get a century on debut. I wasn’t thinking much, there was just one way to get to a century. I wanted to hold my shape and just hit it. There are five more games, it’s a sporty wicket. This is my first tour with the ODI team, and I’m loving it so far,” Rahul added.
It may be recalled that after having a disastrous Test debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Karnataka batsman resurrected his career in Sydney with a brilliant 110 to cement his place in the national squad for the longest version of the game.