Ten wickets on Test debut and never again

(Updated on 15 May 2021):

Some achievements on debut are more difficult than others.

As may as 110 centuries have been scored on debut, as well as 169 five-fors. In a few cases the player has scored two centuries or took two fivers in his debut Test.

But only 16 have taken ten wickets in their first Test:

The last entrant is Praveen Jayawickrama of Sri Lanka, who has played only one Test so far.

But the members of this exclusive club have not been fortunate. A quick overview:

We can see that:

Marriott played only one Test. Newcomer Jayawickrama has also played only one so far.

However, a total of 12 of these 16 never took a ten-for after their debut. The only ones who did so were T Richardson (total 4 times), Grimmett (7), Bedser (5) and Valentine (4)

And 7 of the 16 never even took a five-for after their debut.

Perhaps Jayawickrama will be able to overcome these odds.

Also, JK Lever is the only one to take a ten-for along with a fifty on debut. He never made another fifty, although he did add two five-fors to his 7-49 on debut.

While Ken Farnes did add one five-for to the two he took on debut, he died young in a flying accident during WW2.

Incidentally, Jayawickrama’s 11-178 is the best by a left-arm spinner on debut, surpassing the 11-204 by AL Valentine in 1950.

Records of the SL-BD Test series-2021

Sri Lanka won the series 1-0, with the first match being a dull draw. In the second Test, debutant Praveen Jayawickrama recorded the best bowling for SL on debut and also recorded the best bowling for any slow left-armer on debut, surpassing Alf Valentine’s record in 1950.

D Karunaratne’s 244 in the first Test is the best for SL v BD at home. The previous record was 222* by Sangakkara in 2007. However, the highest for SL v BD is 319 also by Sangakkara in 2013-14. He and GA Gooch are the only ones to score a triple century and century in the same Test. It is probably a first-class record as well.

We now look at the final WTC points table, as all the possible fixtures (barring the final) have been completed:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-test-championship/standings

Also, the ICC rankings (as distinct from the WTC tables:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/page/211271.html

This covers Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland as well. It is not clear how the 2021-23 WTC will play out, but it is possible that Afghanistan would challenge Bangladesh for the last place.

Ten wickets on Test debut

We have earlier seen that as many as 105 players have scored a century on Test debut. 40 of them never scored a century again, and 19 did not even score a fifty again.

We follow the same theme here with the feat of 10 wickets in the match on debut (Fivers on debut will be dealt with separately).

Ten-wicket hauls on debut are far rarer than centuries on debut-since there are only 15 such instances up to 30 Sep 2019.

10 wm on debut

The column “Inngs” indicates the breakup of wickets in the innings – for example F Martin took 6 wickets in each innings. Clearly it is possible to take 10 wickets with only one fiver, as in the case of Bedser (7 and 4) or Valentine (8 and 3).

Hirwani (16-136) just edged out Massie’s record of 16-137. These remain the best match figures for India and Australia. The only better Test figures are 19-90 by Laker and 17-159 by SF Barnes. The only other 16-wicket haul is by Muralitharan (16-220).

From the last three columns we can see that CS Marriott played only one Test, and Martin, Burke and Krezja only two.

The more durable ones were Bedser (51 Tests), Grimmett (37)  and Valentine (36).

And that 11 of these 15 (i.e. all except Richardson (4), Grimmett (7), Bedser (5) and Valentine (2) ) did not ever take a ten-wicket haul again. They are listed here:

10 wickets on debut and never again

The most durable among these were JK Lever (21 Tests), Hirwani (17) and Farnes (15). Farnes was one of the casualties of WW2. Lever remains the only one to take ten wickets and score a fifty on debut. He did not score a fifty again.

And these 7 players never even took a fiver after their debut:

10 wickets in a match on debut and no fiver again

Massie survived the longest with 6 Tests, followed by Zahid with 5.