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.

Review of Tests between England and India, 1932-2021: (Part 2):

Hope you have read Part 1.

We now proceed to individual perfomances in bowling.

Most wickets (35 and above):

Current player JM Anderson leads by a large margin, while his partner SCJ Broad is also close to the top. Ashwin and I Sharma are also in the top half.

The most 5wis are 8 by Chandrasekhar and 6 by Ashwin and Botham.

Innings bowling (all instances of 7wi and above):

This includes 7-46 by JK Lever on debut, while Jadeja’s 7-48 in 2016 is the best in recent years.

Match bowling (all instances of 10wm and above):

The only one with 2 10 wms is AV Bedser, who achieved this in his first two Tests in 1946.

Botham’s 13-114 marked the first instance of a century and 10+ wickets in the same match.

JK Lever’s 10-70 along with 50 on debut remains the only instance of 10wm plus fifty on debut.

AR Patel’s 11-70 is the only one in the a current series, although Ashwin has better figures from 2016.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls):

The averages are topped by the unexpected Illingworth and JK Lever. Anderson has the best average among current players.

The best economy rates are by Illingworth and Nadkarni.

The best strike rates are by JK Lever and Willis.

Best fielding performances:

Most dismissals (20 and above):

Dhoni has the most dismissals, although Kirmani has the most stumpings and AN Cook the most catches by a non-keeper.

Innings fielding performances (5 and above):

The most dismissals in an innings is 7 by RW Taylor, in the same Test of Botham’s century plus 13w. Yajurvindra Singh has the most by a non-keeper (5) which he made on debut. This remains a share in the world record of 5 catches in an innings, which is now held by several other players including AM Rahane.

Match fielding performances (6 and above):

This record is also held by RW Taylor’s 10 in Botham’s match.

Yajurvidra Singh and KL Rahul have 7 catches by non-keepers, Yajurvindra doing so on debut.

Highest dismissal rates (Minimum 20 innings fielded):

Not surprisingly, this list is headed by RW Taylor and Dhoni. Solkar has the highest by a non-keeper, followed by Dravid.

Bairstow and Buttler represent current players.

Career All-round performance (see criteria below):

Headed by R Ashwin and Kapil Dev. Current players such as MM Ali and BA Stokes are also there.

Match All-Round performance (50 and 5wi):

Includes century +13 wickets (Botham, 1980), century + 5 wickets (Mankad, Ashwin), and fifty + 10 wickets (JK Lever on debut, Jadeja). Also note B Kumar’s 50 + 5wi in successive Tests in 2014.

The other double: 50 + 10 wkts in a match

Most of those who follow Test cricket know about the double of a century and 5wi in a match. This has been done 32 times, with the last occasion being the present WI player Roston Chase in 2016.

The lesser-known double is that of 50 and 10wm, which is slightly rarer and has been done on 30 occasions. Stuart Broad joined this list in the 3rd Test against West Indies in 2020.

50 and 10 wkts in match on 28-7-2020

This seems to be a little harder to achieve compared to the other double. Sir Richard Hadlee is the only one to do it 3 times and Shakib Al Hasan the only one to do it twice. Kapil, Botham and Imran duly appear here. “Sir” Jadeja is the only other player from India here.

In a mirror of Bruce Taylor’s 100 + 5wi against India on his debut in 1965, only one player John Lever has  managed 50 + 10 wm also against India in 1976. Oddly enough S Venkataraghavan was in India’s team on both occasions.

There are some odd cases here involving players who were not generally considered all-rounders, such as Qadir, Border, Bevan and Steyn. And others who had short careers such as Lever, Nash and Craig. But most of the big names of the past few decades are there.

The elite group with a century and 10-for includes Botham, Imran, Shakib and honorary member Davidson with 100 runs and 10-for.

Broad achieved this in the nick of time, taking the last wicket of the match to complete his tenner.

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.

Best debut bowling against India

The second Test at Centurion was noted for various things such as silly runouts and young Ngidi’s bowling. Here we look at the best bowling figures on debut against and for India (all figures as of 17 Jan 2018).

Best against India-innings (5wi): 

Debut bowling against India-I

Ngidi is in 5th position here, while his compatriot Klusener leads. That was to remain Klusener’s best in Tests, as in the case of Lever. Krezja’s effort came in a defeat for his team, and he played only one Test after this. Hazlewood is another current player in this list, while B Lee, like Bedser, had a long career.

Bedser and Pollard made their debut together. BR Taylor remains the only one in all Tests to make a century and take a fiver on debut. We will come to Lever’s similar record in a moment.

Best against India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling against India-M

The luckless Krezja tops this table. Bedser is second, and he followed with another 11-wicket haul in his second Test to start a long career for England. His partner Pollard is also here, though he had a relatively short career. Ngidi is relatively lower in this table as he took only one wicket in the first innings.

Hazlewood is the only other current player to appear here. Other famous names include B Lee and Trueman.

In an odd case of symmetry, JK Lever was the only one in all Tests to score a fifty and take a ten-for on debut. India’s S Venkataraghavan was in the Indian team on both occasions.

We also look at the corresponding figures for Indian bowlers on debut.

Best for India-innings (5wi):

Debut bowling for India-I

Hirwani steals the show here. He had a slightly better career than RAL Massie, who also took 16 wickets on debut. Ashwin and Shami are in the current team, as is Mishra from recent times. Nissar’s effort came in India’s first-ever Test.

Best for India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling for India-M

Hirwani again leads, with the best match figures in all Tests by a debutant. His 16-136 was just ahead of Massie’s 16-137. Shami, Ashwin and Mishra appear here as well. Doshi and Yadav had moderately successful careers.

The other Test all-rounders-1

We start with the scorecard of the  England-South Africa Test at Lord’s:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-south-africa-2017/engine/match/1031437.html

Moeen Ali achieved the double of a fifty and 10 wickets in the match.

Now, the standard definition of a good all-round performance in a Test is a century and a fiver. Cricinfo provides this as a direct link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/282793.html

There are 32 such instances at the time of writing.

The achievement of a fifty and 10wm is somewhat less common though the instances can be easily be got from Statsguru:

Fifty and 10 wickets in a Test (as on Jul 11, 2017)

10wm and fifty

27 entries here, the most recent entrants here being Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja and Dilruwan Perera. Sir Richard Hadlee is the only one to do this 3 times. No one else has done it more than once.

Also note that Alan Davidson was the first to score a hundred runs and take 10 wickets in a match (though without a century). This was in the Brisbane tied Test of 1960. He held this record for over 19 years. It was not until 1980 that Botham became the first to score a century and take 10 wickets in a match. Imran repeated this a few years later and Shakib followed much later.

While the list of those who scored a century and 5wi is mostly populated by the better-known all-rounders ranging from Sobers to Botham to Ashwin, the second list has a few unexpected names. These include bowlers who were not considered recognized batsmen but somehow managed a fifty: e.g. JK Lever (on debut), Abdul Qadir, DW Steyn and PS de Villiers. Then there are non-regular bowlers (notably AR Border and MG Bevan) who were not regular bowlers but somehow managed a ten-wicket haul.

In several cases these were the only fifties or ten-fors the player achieved in their Test careers. The strangest case may be that of JK Lever, who is the only one to score a fifty and take ten wickets on his debut. He did not achieve either of these again in his 21-Test career.