The Test debutants of 2015

Here we look at the players who made their Test debuts in 2015, and the highlights of their performances.

We start with batting, listing those who scored at least a fifty:

Debut 2015-batting

Only one centurion-but Adam Voges went on to cross 1000 by the end of the year. Ronchi played in only that one Test, Dowrich played in 2 and was not heard of again. Kusal Perera hit two fifties on debut but is now under a doping cloud. CR Brathwaite started promisingly in the end of the year and scored another lower-order fifty in the new year.

The best innings bowling figures (minimum 4 wickets):

Debut-inngs bowling

The only five-for was by Rashid, after he took 0-163 in the first innings which is the worst innings bowling by a debutant. He played in 3 Tests of that series but did not go on the tour to South Africa. The others made steady progress without anything spectacular.

The best match bowling figures (minimum 6 wickets):

Debut-match bowling

As mentioned above, these three bowlers progressed steadily.

Best innings fielding (minimum 4 dismissals)

Debut-innings dismissals

Only Australia’s wicketkeeper Peter Nevill qualifies. He has held on to his place in the team.

Best match fielding (minimum 4 dismissals)

Debut-match dismissals

Ronchi and Ojha have not played Tests again, Nevill is thriving and Perera’s future is uncertain at least in the short term.

Best all-round performance of batting and fielding (mimimum 50 runs and 4 dismissals)


All three have not been fortunate, as mentioned above.

Best all-round performance of batting and bowling (minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets in match)


This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel-but these are the best all-round performances on debut which can be found. They have continued to play steadily without major scores in Tests.


Most runs in Tests in first calendar year

As the statistically-minded would have noted, Adam Voges scored a century on Test debut in June and went on to complete 1000 runs by the end of 2015. He thus completed 1000 Test runs in the calendar year of his debut, becoming only the third to achieve this. This is not to be confused with scoring 1000+ Test runs in the first 365 days after his debut.

The only ones to have achieved this are:

MA Taylor (Aus)        1219@ 64.15       1989

AC Voges (Aus)          1028@ 85.66        2015

AN Cook (Eng)           1013@  46.04       2006

The only Test players from India who scored over 500 runs in the calendar year of their debut:

SM Gavaskar          918@ 83.45    1971

S Ramesh                843@ 49.58    1999

VG Kambli              793@113.28   1993

Yashpal Sharma   591@ 39.40      1979

SC Ganguly            504@ 50.40      1996

It helps, of course, if you make your debut in the early part of the year (though Voges, Yashpal and Ganguly made their debuts in mid-year).


Spare a thought for M. Azharuddin, who had the misfortune to make his debut in a Test starting on 31 Dec 1984. He made 110 runs in Tests starting in 1984 and 495 in Tests starting in 1985.







A quick look at international cricket in 2015

An overview of Tests in 2015:

2015-Test results

Note that India and Pakistan jointly top the chart on the basis of win/loss ratio. Only 9 teams appear as Zimbabwe did not play any Tests this year. Note the sudden slide of South Africa and the continuing decline of the West Indies.

Now we see the latest available ICC Test rankings, dated Dec 21 which corresponds to the end of the NZ-SL series. It will not be strictly comparable to the above chart as it includes Tests since August 2012 with greater emphasis on recent Tests:

2015-Test rankings

Now to ODIs, where series between NZ and SL and between Afg and Zim were in progress on Dec 31. The annual overview:

2015-ODI results

Leaving aside the freak result for Hong Kong, Australia leads with Bangladesh a surprise runner-up. And Afghanistan has quietly slipped past a number of Test teams. Here is the ICC table correct up to Dec 31:

2015-ODI rankings

Australia is undeniably No 1 here with India, SA and NZ fighting for second spot. And Afghanistan has now got to the 10th position, ahead of Ireland and Zimbabwe.

T-20 results are pretty meaningless as major teams do not play much of this format. Anyway, I cover it here for the sake of completeness. Annual review:

2015-T20 results

England was unbeaten in their one series against Pakistan. As the minnows play more matches (usually against teams of similar strength) they have deceptively high win ratios (see PNG and Scotland for example).

Anyway here are the ICC rankings which cover all the matches played this year:

2015-T20 rankings

Oman will also be on this table once they have played enough matches (though this is only applicable for T20Is and not ODIs). Here we see Sri Lanka at the top with a very close bunching of WI, Australia and England after that, and still more bunching between SA, Pakistan and India after that.

But past records do not count for much in this format, especially in the first World Cup in 2007 where the winning team had played precisely one T20I before the championship.