Debuts To Remember

Prthvir SolankiCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2008

The first match a cricketer plays, is the moment of his life. What makes it more special is, when he scores a big one or takes a five wicket haul. But then there are those which you cannot forget. They may be against a weak team or against a strong team but that debutant goes off the field like a hero. Here are some debuts you cannot forget in tests or ODI's.

Jacques Rudolph - 222* vs Bangladesh

Firstly, who is Jacques Rudolph? Played 38 test and 45 one dayers for South Africa. Coming in at number three against a Bangladeshi side, which got South Africa's in-form openers out and the score at 41 for two, might just increase a debutant's nervousness.(obviously he came in at one down, but his heart must have broken when Gibbs got out at the other end). But Rudolph looked as if he was playing his 100th test match and smashed 222 in 383 balls and had an Everest of a partnership of 429 runs, unconquered mind you, along with Boeta Dipenaar. He hit 29 fours and two sixes and really looked like a bright one for the future.

After a short span in his career, politics got in his way. He was claimed to have racially abused some South Africans and his selection was vetoed after that. Now, he plays for Yorkshire and is having a very good stint there, increasing his chances for being selected in the English side.

Brett Lee - 5/47 & 2/46 vs India

Getting a five wicket haul on your debut against a team which has the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman is just unbelievable. That time 23 years old, Brett Lee was quicker than the batsman would have expected. His bouncers was lethal, his good lengths were unplayable and even his half volleys were too fast to hit. The Indians were just struggling to play this young guy. But his most important weapon got Prasad's stumps rolling. The in-swinging yorker which would either break your toe or destroy the wicket and Prasad, wisely chose the latter.

Brett Lee is now considered as on of the best fast bowlers ever and is on the verge of greatness. Ina bowling attack lacking Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee himself takes care of business. He has been compared to the likes of Walsh and Lilee and it won't be surprising if he surpasses them.

Narendra Hirwani - 8/61 & 8/75 vs West Indies

If you thought Lee taking wickets against India was amazing, the how would you react when a bespectacled, 19 year old, leg spinner picks up 16 wickets in a match against a West Indian team which is at the top of its game. Hirwani not only destroyed but decimated the Windies to give India the win. Yes, the pitch was under prepared but then no other bowler took advantage of this and Hirwani was thought to be a future legend.

Narendra Hirwani then just faded away and picked up only 50 wickets in his next 16 test matches. His career was then halted forever after the arrival of Anil Kumble.

Saurav Ganguly - 131 vs England

Saurav Ganguly came into bat at number three against a formidable England side who had won the previous match to lead the series. His first boundary was just a defence of Dominic Cork which just flew off thanks to the pace and after that, unfortunately for England, he did'nt just want to use the pace. Ganguly's elegant knock featured 20 boundaries out of which most were caressed through the off side. Though England got away with a draw, a legend was born for Indian cricket.

Ganguly became the most successful captain for India ever and led them to a World Cup final in 2003. He is at the moment the fourth highest run scorer and has the fourth most number of centuries in One dayers.

Fidel Edwards - 6/22 vs Zimbabwe

He bowled only seven overs in the match but did he make it count or what. Six wickets and 22 runs. Those are the best figures for a bowler in ODI's on debut. His flingy action bamboozled the Zimbabweans and their batting collapsed inside 40 overs.

Fidel Edwards is the opening bowler and spearhead for the West Indies team and picks up wickets at a regular basis. He has picked just one more five wicket haul after his debut against England.

Shaun Pollock - 66* & 4/34 vs England

His whole legendary family must have been watching and i am sure he did not disappoint them. After smashing 66 runs at a strike rate of 100 he ripped through the middle and lower order of England to give South Africa the win. His consistency in line and length made the batsmen think and his power, while batting, just made the fielders duck for cover.

Pollock is now regarded as one of the greatest all rounder ever. He successfully captained the South African team but then was axed as captain after the 2003 World Cup debacle but he continued his good form and retired this year. The only source of his cricket is at the IPL where he plays for the Mumbai Indians and in the first season showed why he still is the best.

Micheal Clarke - 151 & 17 vs India

For me, the best debut ever. Replacing Ponting is one thing, but doing what he can do is another. Coming in when the team was a bit shaky at 141 for four but first had a partnership with Katich and then Gilly. His strikes were just beautiful and was straight out of the textbook. He whacked 18 fours and four sixes to down the Indian team's good start. Australia went on to win the match by 217 runs and Clarke was named man of the match.

Clarke is the keyman in the Aussie batting line up. If the top three fail, its up to him to set everything back to normal and he has been doing that just right. He is now the future captain of the Australian team. He is now the vice captain of the team and has lead his side to two T20 matches.

In the past, there were some amazing debuts. Mostly on the bowling side with players taking six wickets and 12 wickets in a match but this list is just for the modern times. I think i have missed out on Dravid but i would say Ganguly's knock overshadowed his.

If there are any debuts which i have missed out on,  just write about in the comment box.