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India v England

Ranked: India’s hot streak of debut performances

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

While Shikhar Dhawan was named Player of the Match in India’s first ODI against England on Tuesday, the hosts were helped by two impressive debutant performances.

Krunal Pandya smacked an emotional quickfire half-century in his first 50-over game for India, while Prasidh Krishna picked up the best bowling figures by an Indian men’s ODI debutant.

The performances continued an excellent streak of performances by Indian men’s players in their maiden outings in recent months. Ten players have made their debuts in one or more formats for India since the start of last year’s tour of Australia, and pretty much all of them have impressed from the get-go.

Here we’ve ranked their debut performances – from ‘steady work’, to ‘looked right at home’, to ‘world class’.

Steady work

Navdeep Saini

Saini was one of many Indian Test debutants in the four-match series against Australia and came in for the third Test at Sydney. While he did prove expensive – he went at five an over in Australia’s first innings – the right-arm quick still managed to come away with more wickets in the match than Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

T Natarajan

The Australian tour was a very memorable one for India’s newest left-arm quick. He made his debut in all three formats, and bandying them all into one, you could say it was a very solid opening chapter. While he conceded 70 runs in his maiden ODI outing, he still picked up a couple of wickets, and fine figures of 3-30 following in his first T20I.

Looked right at home

Shubman Gill

After India’s calamitous second innings in the first Test at Adelaide, Gill entered the fray at the MCG and immediately grabbed the tag of a future international star. Wonderfully balanced off the backfoot and unafraid to play his shots, he opened his Test account with a 65-ball 45 and was later at the crease when India sealed victory to level the series.

Mohammed Siraj

Siraj was another key contributor to the win at the MCG, beginning his Test career with the major scalp of Marnus Labuschagne in Australia’s first innings and three wickets in their second. With Umesh Yadav picking up a mid-match injury, Siraj stepped up and went under two an over as Australia were bowled out for 200 on day four.

Washington Sundar

In his first first-class match since November 2017, Sundar played his part with both bat and ball in one of India’s greatest Test wins. After taking three wickets in Australia’s first innings in the fourth Test at the Gabba – including that of Steve Smith – Sundar then rescued India’s first batting effort with a knock of 62, combining with Shardul Thakur for an integral seventh-wicket stand of 123. A knock of 22 in the chase was key too as India secured a stunning three-wicket win.

Prasidh Krishna

After impressing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, right-arm quick Krishna landed an ODI debut against England and was taken to the cleaners in his first spell, with the destructive partnership of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow hurting his figures. But Krishna returned impressively, removing both Roy and Ben Stokes in quick succession to halt England’s progress. The wicket of Sam Billings was another timely breakthrough, while he wrapped up the game with the scalp of Tom Curran.


Axar Patel

Axar completely swung the balance of India’s Test series with England, entering the picture with the hosts 1-0 down. With his relentless accuracy, Axar thrived in favourable conditions at Chennai, taking five wickets in the final innings to finish the match with seven in total. It set the tone for a stunning first series at Test level for the left-arm spinner.

Ishan Kishan

After England scrambled their way to a total of 164-6 in the second T20I against India earlier this month, Kishan looked to be playing on a different surface altogether in the chase, striking more sixes in his own innings than the visitors had managed altogether in theirs. His 32-ball 56 meant he was rightly named Player of the Match.

Suryakumar Yadav*

This inclusion comes with an asterisk as Yadav wasn’t even required to bat on his debut in the second T20I against England. But when he was finally afforded the opportunity in his second match, he was sublime from the get-go, smashing his first ball for six and finishing on 57 off just 31 balls.

Krunal Pandya

The elder Pandya brother was primarily responsible for the late surge in India’s innings in the first ODI against England on Tuesday, his brute force with the bat resulting in the fastest half-century by a player on their ODI debut. He was expensive with the ball to begin with but tightened up as the innings progressed and brought about the downfall of Sam Curran, too.

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