It’s been a season for the Indian debutants to shine. In the past year, the national team has been graced with some young and promising talent taking to international cricket like fish to water. India is a cricket crazy country and Justin Langer summed it pretty well in an interview after India’s historic series win in Australia. The Australian coach said, “never underestimate the Indians, if you are picked from 1.5 billion Indians, you have to be really tough.”
We saw some glimpses of what these Indian debutants are capable of in the previous two series. Here we’d look at how they performed when they got an opportunity to don that iconic cap for the very first time.
One of the stars of the Australian tour was India’s opening batsman, Shubman Gill. The lanky right-handed batsman oozed confidence in the middle and his calm approach when it came to opening the innings in challenging conditions was highly appreciated.
In seven matches, Gill has scored 378 which includes three half-centuries.
Picked as a net bowler for the Australian tour, Thangarasu Natarajan has quickly become one of the mainstays in the limited-overs Indian team. The left-arm pacer had an impressive 2020 Indian T20 League where he delivered the most yorkers in the competition. For India, Natarajan has already shown why he is one of the first picks in the bowling department.
He picked up three wickets in his debut Test match at Brisbane. In two ODIs he has picked three wickets as well and in four T20Is he has an impressive record with seven wickets to his name at an average of 17.42 and economy of 7.62.
One of the finds of the Australian Test series was Mohammed Siraj. ‘Miyaan Bhai’ as he is lovingly called in the Indian team was a breath of fresh air and has performed beyond expectations so far in his young international career.
Siraj has picked up 16 wickets in five Test matches which includes a match-winning five-wicket haul at the Gabba.
The temperament of this young kid, Washington Sundar is outstanding. He made his Test debut in unlikely conditions in Australia and played a crucial role in India’s series-defining win at the Gabba. He carried his top form in the England series and his dream start in Test cricket continued.
In four Tests, Sundar has scored 265 runs at an incredible average of 66.25. With the ball, he has contributed whenever he could have as he chipped in with six wickets during that time.
In the absence of Ravindra Jadeja in the Test series against England, India were desperate to find a player who could have a similar sort of impact. Axar Patel made his debut in Chennai and wreaked havoc in the three Tests he played against England.
‘Bappu’ picked up 27 wickets in those three matches which included four five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket in a match as well.
It was an emotional debut for Krunal Pandya in the ODI format, soon after his father’s death, he was selected in the team. He was handed the cap by his younger brother, Hardik Pandya and it was an emotional day for the Pandya family.
Krunal made sure that he made his family extremely proud as he notched up the fastest fifty in ODI cricket ever by a debutant.
There was plenty of backlash when Suryakumar Yadav missed out on making it to the Australian tour. Surya finally got a chance to make his debut in the England tour and he for sure made his opportunity count. So much so that the captain actually sacrificed his own number three position for him.
‘SKY’ made 89 runs in the two innings he batted in at a wonderful strike rate of 185.41.
When it comes to Indian debutants, nobody looked calmer than Ishan Kishan when he got an opportunity in the second T20I against England. He missed out in the latter half of the series due to a groin strain but for sure has left a lasting mark on the T20 team with fifty on debut.
Prasidh Krishna’s inclusion in the first ODI against England was a surprising one. But the pacer from Karnataka made it count. His four-wicket haul became the best figures by an Indian debutant and he gives the team a great option going for building towards that 2023 50-over World Cup.
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