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Five young India batters who have had absurd starts to their first-class careers

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A number of young Indian youngsters have had a stellar start to their first-class careers, and we take a look at five batters with jaw-dropping numbers.

Yashasvi Jaiswal – Mumbai

7 matches, 1,015 runs @ 84.58, 100s: 5, HS: 265

Jaiswal’s 265 in the Duleep Trophy final made him the youngest Indian to score a double-ton in the summit clash of a first-class tournament. In 13 innings, he has crossed 100 five times, including making two double hundreds, both of which have come in the ongoing Duleep Trophy.

Jaiswal made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2019/20, but it was in the recent season that he firmly came into the spotlight in the format. In three games, he made 498 runs at an average of 83, with the knockouts getting out the best out of him. He made 35 and 103 in the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Uttarkhand, 100 and 181 in the semifinal against Uttar Pradesh, and 78 and 1 in the final, against Madhya Pradesh. His first double ton (228) came in the quarterfinal of the Duleep Trophy against North East Zone, playing for the West Zone.


Jaiswal’s 265 in the final against South Zone further establishes him as a youngster to watch out for.

Sakibul Gani – Bihar

3 matches, 601 runs @ 150.25, 100s: 2, HS: 341

At 23, Gani created a world record for becoming the first player in history to score a triple hundred on first-class debut when he made 341 in the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy against Mizoram. He walked out to bat at 71-3 in their first innings, and combined with Babul Kumar to steady the ship. Gani took 405 balls to score 341, his runs coming at a strike rate of 84.19.

Till date, he has batted in five innings and has crossed ninety thrice. Besides the 341 on debut, he also has knocks of 98, 101*, 38 and 23. He finished the Ranji Trophy season with the second-highest average.

Yash Dhull – Delhi

5 matches, 770 runs @ 110, 100s: 4, HS: 200*

India’s under-19 captain in their victorious 2022 World Cup campaign, Dhull has had a stellar start to his red-ball career and announced his arrival in style with 113 and 113* in his first game against Tamil Nadu in last year’s Ranji Trophy. He became the third Indian to score two hundreds on first-class debut. He failed to get going in the next three innings but came back strong with an unbeaten 200 against Chattisgarh to end the season with 479 runs at an average of just under 120.

Dhull fell seven runs of his second first-class double hundred when he was dismissed for 193 against East Zone in the Duleep Trophy. Playing for North Zone, he finished off the edition with 39 and 59. In nine innings thus far, he has made one fifty and four hundreds, two of which are scores of more than 190.

Rohan Kunnummal – Kerala

6 matches, 769 runs @ 96.13, 100s: 4, HS: 129

The Kerala opener ended the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy with four fifty-plus scores in as many innings, including crossing 100 thrice. His average after the tournament was an astonishing 139 – the third-most in the season after Chetan Bist and Gani.

Kunnummal continued his onslaught in the Duleep Trophy as well, with 143 and 77 in the first game, against North Zone. The lowest score in his first six first-class matches was 75. Kunnummal faced a rare failure in the final of the Duleep Trophy – a 31 in the first innings – but shrugged it off with a 93 in the next innings to continue his run.

Sarfaraz Khan – Mumbai

27 matches, 2,629 runs @ 77.32, 100s: 8, HS: 301*

Sarfaraz’s career can be divided into two halves: before his departure to Uttar Pradesh and after his return to Mumbai. In his first 11 first-class matches, he had made 535 runs at an average of 35.1, but following a return to his home state, he has been unstoppable, scoring 2.094 runs in 16 games at an average of 116.33.

His first Ranji season after his comeback, in 2019/20, saw him play nine innings and score 928 runs with three hundreds and two fifties, including an unbeaten 301. In 2021/22, he fared better, with 982 runs from six games at an average of a little under 123 with four more hundreds, also including a knock of 275.

Sarfaraz has also been playing for India A, and scored 63 against New Zealand A earlier this month.


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