Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan's century against Australia on debut was an absolute joy to watchReuters

Dictionary definition of joy: Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.

Cricket definition of joy: Watching an Indian opener on debut, absolutely annihilate the Australian bowling with shots that leave your mouth gaping wide for longer than it really should.

This innings from Shikhar Dhawan will be talked about for a long time, make no mistake about that. The unstoppable 185, of which his hundred came off just 85 balls, a record of course, was breathtaking, dominating, awe-inspiring - you get the drift - and some more of the other adjectives that would be apt for such an occasion.

What a way to step into the shoes of your illustrious statemate Virender Sehwag!

The selection of Dhawan in the first place, despite having a good first class season, raised many eyebrows. The fact that he was picked over Ajinkya Rahane, who is really in the squad as middle order cover, was not met with too much enthusiasm.

How ridiculous it all seems now. In an innings for the ages and beyond, Dhawan carted the Australian bowling to all corners of the ground, leaving Michael Clarke, with that mouth-open-wide-longer-than-it-really-should feeling.

There were cover drives in scores, on drives on occasion, a couple of brilliant pull shots, one cheeky paddle sweep, and an ever cheekier reverse sweep, among the staggering 33 boundaries and two sixes.

Murali Vijay at the other end, with the best seat in the house, could only marvel at the pyrotechnics being employed by the classy-looking left-hander.

Yes, the bowling was not the best in the world, and yes, the pitch was a batting paradise. Yet, this is a century that will be right up there with most innings.

Dhawan's hundred was also the highest score by an Indian opener on debut, and by any Indian playing his first Test match. KC Ibrahim (85) held the previous opening record against West Indies way way back in 1948. While Gundappa Vishwanath held the mark for the highest score (137, in 1969 against Australia in Kanpur).

The Delhi opener became just the 13th Indian to score a ton in his first innings, with the last being Suresh Raina in Colombo three years back.

The innings was not without flaw of course, but even the edges that flew past the slips had a bit of belligerence in them - almost like Dhawan's outside edge was saying, even I want in on this innings, it can't just be about the middle of the bat!

The second of those edges could have proved costly. Dhawan, while on 94, saw the ball fly past Phil Hughes, off an expansive drive, with the Aussie fielder just failing to get a hand onto it.

Such is the confidence in the man, that in the very next delivery on 98, after just about surviving the catch, he danced down the track to Peter Siddle and blasted the ball through covers - there was only a single on offer though, with the ball going straight to the sweeper in the deep.

The hundred off 85 balls, as it should, came with a one-day drop to off side for a quick single - the fastest century by a player on debut in Test cricket. The previous record was held by Dwayne Smith of West Indies, when he completed his hundred in 93 balls.

When you think of the modern day debut Test innings by Indian batsmen, the ones by Sourav Ganguly at Lord's and Sehwag's against South Africa in Bloemfontein come to mind. This was just as good, if not a notch or two above, even if it was played in more friendlier Indian conditions.

There is still a long way to go for Dhawan of course; but if this innings is any indication of what is to come, boy oh boy are Indian fans in for a treat.

Not too sure about the opposition bowlers, though.