Mumbai: Keaton Jennings made a dream start to his Test career by compiling a fine century on debut after coming in as a mid-series replacement opener for England and said it was a "dream come true" to reach three figures on day one of the fourth Test against India.
"I suppose waking up this morning if someone said to me you will get a Test match hundred, I would have put them off. I woke up at 5'O clock this morning thinking I will miss the bus. So jumped out of bed, settled myself down and then I saw the time. It's been a dream-come-true and surreal that it's come on debut," said the 24-year-old Johannesburg-born batsman after making 112 in a close of play team score of 288 for 5.
He conceded he was lucky early on when Karun Nair at gully could not latch on to a difficult catch off Umesh Yadav when he was yet to score.
"Thankfully it kind of hit his hand and got out. I had a little bit of luck but I suppose that's the way the game goes sometimes. I am really thankful that the day has gone the way it has. When the ball lifted up to gully my heart was in my mouth and just thought you got a naught in your first innings. But thankfully it went to ground."
He also survived an early leg before review call by India off Bhuvneshwar Kumar when on 10.
"At the time I thought it was close but when it got given not out I thought it might have kept outside the line. I knew I hadn't hit it first. Thankful the decision went my way and not the other way around where the umpire's call gets pulled against you."
He also played a couple of audacious reverse sweeps against Jayant Yadav with which he reached the hundred too.
"It's been a shot over the last six-eight months that I have played fairly successfully. At the moment I looked at the scoreboard and thought well rather than get out caught at first slip defending, I would rather try to get to the hundred."
Jennings, who had played at the under 19 level for his native country SA before switching over to England after staying there for four years to qualify, said he had not spoken to his father and top coach Ray Jennings.
"Not yet, we had hand our phones off this morning. I'll try to get in touch with him tonight and hopefully share some special memories together."
Asked what did captain and fellow-opener Alastair Cook tell him before he faced top ranked bowler Ravichandran Ashwin he said, "He was trying to give me a feel of what he went through facing him before.
"He's a really good bowler, he's one of the best bowlers in the world. I think his average against left-handers was 18 when we walked up to bat. You don't get stats like that from not knowing what you are doing. You try and come up with a game plan against him and try and back yourself and your technique and process to combat him," he added.
Jennings was of the opinion that first innings total would be critical looking at the behaviour of the pitch on which he spent more than two sessions batting.
"In the morning it was a bit like tennis ball with the new ball. As the day went on, it started to take little bit of turn. After lunch it started to turn a little bit more and towards the end it started to turn quite nicely," he added.
Updated Date: Dec 08, 2016 19:52:43 IST