Making a debut for India, in any format of cricket, is nothing less than a dream. A dream shared by millions but lived only by a few. And today, we decided to look at some other iconic debuts by Indian cricketers. A few among these were a success, a few were failures, but in retrospect they are all important. Read on.
1. Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya made an unreal ODI debut for India a few days ago. He scored the fastest 50 by a first-timer in this format, and it was all the more emotional because of the dedication he made to his father, who had passed away some days ago.
Krunal Pandya pays tribute to his late father in sublime fashion with a 50 on his ODI debut 👏#INDvENG pic.twitter.com/X8nIusQwAw— ICC (@ICC) March 23, 2021
2. Sourav Ganguly
Years before he swung his shirt from the Lord’s balcony, Sourav Ganguly did something else at the stadium. He hit a century there on his Test debut in 1996. In an ideal start to his long and illustrious career, Ganguly scored 131 runs from 301 balls and the rest is history.
3. Rahul Dravid
Now, while Ganguly was doing this on one end, Dravid was on the other side, playing equally well. He was also a debutant in that match but like his partner, failed to score a century by just 5 runs. That was heartbreaking but we all know Dravid avenged this later in life by emerging as one of the best Test players in cricket, if not the best.
4. MS Dhoni
How interesting is it that the man who executed countless run-outs in his career, was dismissed the same way in his first match for India. In the year 2004, Dhoni made his debut for the country and got out for a duck after some confusion with partner Mohammad Kaif.
Interestingly, this was also the game in which Joginder Sharma made his debut. 3 years later, MS Dhoni would go on to lead the team and would give Joginder the last over of the T20 World Cup final. Historic!
5. Sachin Tendulkar
Master Blaster made his debut for India in the Test series against Pakistan in the year 1989. He was just 16 at the time, but there is more to it. Along with Sachin, another player made his debut. It was Waqar Younis for Pakistan and as luck would have it, Waqar only dismissed Sachin in the first innings. Both of them went on to become the legends of the game, with the Indian arguably the best ever.
6. Virat Kohli
At this point, Virat Kohli is considered to be a modern-day legend. But how did it all start? Virat successfully led India to victory in the U-19 World Cup in 2008. This was enough proof of his capabilities and the current captain of the national team was given a spot in the ODI squad. He played his first match against Sri Lanka and scored 12 runs.
Which is a pretty bad score but he avenged it with his maiden hundred against the same opponents, 14 matches later.
7. Sunil Gavaskar
Let us talk a bit about instant impact. Sunil Gavaskar wore the Indian jersey for the first time in 1971 and made a record – of most runs in the debut series. He scored 774 runs in total, a feat no one has been able to achieve again.
Also, let us not forget 1971 was less than 3 decades from the time India gained independence. We had never won a Test series West Indies till that point. Sunil Gavaskar’s debut changed that. He went on to be the part of the World Cup-winning squad in 1983 and was an inspiration for millions, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.
8. Yuvraj Singh
We all know the role Yuvraj played in ousting the defending champions, Australia, from the 2011 World Cup that India eventually won. But his rivalry with the Aussies dates way back to the year 2000. Yuvraj made his ODI debut against Kenya but did not get an opportunity to bat. He batted for the first time in the next game, which was against Australia, and he scored a brilliant 84.
Thanks to his innings, India managed to defeat the opponents by 20 runs.
9. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan’s Test debut was as good as debuts get. He scored a century (187) against the Australians at Mohali in 2013, and never looked back again. Not only this, he took only 85 balls to reach the 3-figure-mark, and holds the record for the fastest century by a debutant.
10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
While Bhuvi has not had the smoothest career, his debut figures are something to look at. In his first T20I in 2012, he left the opposition, Pakistan, in a very uncomfortable position at 12/3 in 3 overs by scalping the wickets of Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez.
Similarly, he scalped a wicket in his first delivery in ODIs, which was also the first delivery of that match.
11. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag never took too much time to open up and hit shots, did he? His debut was no different. The guy scored a century in his first Test match in 2001 off 157 deliveries and formed a solid 220-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar. The two would go on to become one of the most iconic openers for India.