Century on debut and never again

Data correct up to Sep 16, 2019

A total of 105 batsmen have made a century on debut. They have accounted for 107 centuries (since LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed scored two centuries on their debuts).

But 40 of them never scored a century again (including Yasir Hameed). Two of them played only one Test (AG Ganteaume and RE Redmond) and many had short careers. Some had longer careers and made several fifties but no centuries. The complete list is:

Century on debut and never again

Apart from the luckless 1-Test players, many played for one or two series only.

Those members of this club who played the most Tests are “honorary member” Yasir Hameed (25) and L Amarnath (24) followed by SK Raina (18). The most fifties are by 8 by Yasir Hameed followed by SK Raina (7) and Umar Akmal (6). Only one other (Hanumant Singh) has made 5 fifties.

C Bannerman’s century in the first ever Test is well known.

Note the father and son combination of L Amarnath and S Amarnath. The other son M Amarnath had a less successful debut but ended up as a leading batsman with several crucial centuries.

Aminul Islam and KJ O’Brien emulated C Bannerman and made centuries in the first Tests of their countries.

The bottom 4 (from Blundell onwards) are likely to play again. Some Pakistan fans feel that Fawad Alam has a chance of playing again although his last Test was in 2009.

The highest scorer here was RE Foster with 287 (which is the highest score on debut and was the Test record until A Sandham made 325 over a quarter century later). The only other double century is by Kuruppu (201*) Next are HD Rutherford (171), Yasir Hameed (170) and Fawad Alam (168).

Then there was the “Indian jinx”. It stemmed from the fact that for a long time, ALL Indian players who scored a century on debut never scored another. Namely:

L Amarnath (1933)

RH Shodhan (1952)

AG Kripal Singh (1955)

AA Baig (1959)

Hanumant Singh (1964)

One could also include the senior Nawab of Pataudi who played first for England and then for India.

GR Viswanath made a century on debut in 1969 and then a second one in 1973, thus ending the jinx.

Ultimately, 15 Indian players (not including the senior Pataudi) made a century on debut. Those who made centuries after their debut were Viswanath, Azharuddin, Ganguly, Sehwag, Dhawan and RG Sharma.

Those who missed out include the 5 listed above as well as S Amarnath, Amre, Raina and Shaw (although the last is likely to play again).

Then there are the tragic cases of those who never scored even a fifty after their debut. (RE Redmond is an exception as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test. His son AJ Redmond played 8 Tests with two fifties and a top score of 83.)

Those 19 unfortunates deserve a separate post:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/century-on-debut-and-not-even-a-fifty-again/

 

Bevan Congdon R.I.P. – and his Indian connection

Bevan Congdon, who was one of New Zealand’s major players in the 1960s and 1970s, died a few days ago a day before his 80th bithday.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/36611.html

Victories for New Zealand were few and far between in those days. At that time even India always considered them to be a lesser team. His tenure as captain included NZ’s first win against Australia in 1974, and earlier his 175 came close to bringing his team to an improbable win against England, making 440 and losing by 38 runs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17229/scorecard/63108/england-vs-new-zealand-1st-test-new-zealand-tour-of-england-1973/

That was then the highest fourth-innings score in a loss, though it has since been surpassed.

Congdon was a part-time medium pacer. His best bowling and all-round performance came in a Test against India at Auckland in early 1976. By then Glenn Turner was captain. India won this Test, which was significant in several ways.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17181/scorecard/63156/new-zealand-vs-india-1st-test-india-tour-of-new-zealand-1975-76/

Congdon scored 54 and 54 besides taking 5-65. Apart from this:

Surender Amarnath scored a century on debut. Like his father, he never made a Test century after his debut.

Gavaskar won his first Test as captain and made a century as well. He was standing in for BS Bedi who made his debut as captain in the second Test of the series.

Prasanna’s 8-76 remains the best innings bowling for an Indian bowler in a Test outside India. His match figures of 11-140 were then the best for India outside India, though the record now stands at 12-104 by BS Chandrashekhar against Australia at Melbourne in early 1978. Chandrashekhar would not have minded getting a king pair in that match.

But India did not win that series against New Zealand. The 2nd Test was drawn with India in a weaker position. And the third Test saw the then little-known Richard Hadlee taking 7-23 (and 11-58) in bringing about an innings victory for NZ.