With the onset of new players who performed even better than many established names, we see a bright future for them in the longest version of the game. As the year ends, let's take a look at the top 5 debutants in Test cricket.
2018 has been a year of Test cricket and many debutants relished their dream in the most toughest form of the game. With the onset of new players who performed even better than many established names, we see a bright future for them in the longest version of the game.
As the year ends, let's take a look at the top 5 debutants in Test cricket.
Lungi Ngidi (South Africa)
The newest South African bowling talent was given his Test cap at Centurion in January and he ensured that he grabbed the opportunity with both hands by picking up his first 5-for in a Test match against India who were all out for a mere 151. Lungi has picked up 15 wickets at a brilliant average of 19.53 in a total of four Test matches and has proven to be the natural born successor of Morne Morkel who retired earlier this year. The deadly trio of fast bowlers which includes Lungi, Rabada and Philander can rattle any opposition, especially in their home conditions. He has also been picked up by Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2019 for his successful performances in shorter formats. Dale Steyn still being around in the South African dressing room, the young budding talent will surely get to learn a lot better.
Rishabh Pant (India)
After a horrible batting display from Dinesh Karthik in England in the first two Tests, Rishabh Pant came into the Test arena and scored a belligerent century (114) at The Oval against England in the fifth Test match. An aggressive player that he is, he also became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test ton in England and proved his mettle both as a stumper and as a batsman in 2018. He has equalled legendary Syed Kirmani's record of most number of catches in a Test series against Australia by taking 15 catches in two matches, with still two more matches to go, and recently took a world record of 11 catches in a match at Adelaide Oval. Even though he missed out on centuries against the West Indies in home conditions, he scored quick half-centuries.
Prithvi Shaw (India)
Indian cricket seems to have found its young batting prodigy again after a decade who is up and ready to take on any bowling attack. Probably the newest addition in the great pantheon of Indian batting, Prithvi scored centuries similar to his idol Sachin Tendulkar on his debut in both Duleep Trophy as well as Ranji Trophy, following which, he led the Under-19 side to World Cup victory under the mentorship of legendary Rahul Dravid.
He was picked for the last two Test matches in England tour, but despite not getting a chance he waited until his chance came and when it came, he scored a brilliant 134 against West Indies at Saurashtra cricket stadium. He followed it up with a half century in the second Test match. Sadly, in the ongoing tour of India versus Australia, he got injured and was sent back home to recover but with the kind of high-class transition he showed into the toughest format of the game, he is sure to score more runs quickly. There is no doubt that he is future of Indian batting.
Sam Curran (England)
The 20-year-old Surrey lad impressed the international crowd with his all-round performance against India at Edgbaston and his contribution with the bat made the difference between the two teams in the first match of the series. The Indian top order was destroyed with the ball as Curran picked three wickets in just eight balls. He also scored 24 and 63 in first and second innings respectively and picked up a total of five wickets in the match.
He was dropped for the Trent Bridge Test but got a place in the side in the fourth Test match at Southampton. Once again he proved to be the difference between the two sides by scoring 78 and 46 in respective innings. He also picked up two wickets, one in each and was adjudged man of the series for his all-round contribution.
Curran went on to score a brilliant 48 in the first Test match at Galle and then backed it up with a 64, hitting six sixes in the second Test match at Pallekele. He has scored over 400 runs and has picked up 14 wickets as of now.
Curran had made his Test debut against Pakistan in June this year and signs are that he has all the makings of a good all-rounder. His Test performances landed an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He was bought for Rs 7.4 crore at the recent players auction.
Jasprit Bumrah (India)
Bowling those skiddy nippers and toe crushers, Bumrah is no doubt the future of Indian bowling in shorter formats. But when Bumrah was handed over the Test cap in an all-important South Africa tour earlier this year in January, everyone had their eyebrows raised. All the questions were answered when for the first time, the Indian bowling unit had all the ammunition to rattle the opposition in their own backyard.
An intelligent cricketer, Bumrah saw overnight success in South Africa as he took his maiden fifer in Johannesburg. He continued his success story in England too. Although he had to wait for his turn until the third Test match in Trent Bridge in England because of his injury, not only did he pick up his second fifer but also shut down his crtics.
He has undoubtedly become the captain's go-to man as he has been the most effective and impressive bowler for India in the Australian tour so far. Out of the eight matches that he has played in this calendar year, he has picked up a total of 39 wickets and is surely to be looked out for in the coming years.
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Last Updated Dec 31, 2018, 1:06 PM IST