Washington Sundar’s good start

At the time of writing, the 1st Test between India and England at Chennai has ended in defeat for the home side. Washington Sundar’s Test batting record is now 62 and 22 followed by 85* and 0, thus making two fifties in his first two Tests.

Not such a big deal, is it? 15 Indian players have made a century on Test debut (although a significant proportion of them never made another century). There are 44 instances of Indian players making at least one fifty on their debut, such as Sundar.

We now look at cases where they scored at least two scores of fifty-plus in their first two Tests. There are only 14 such instances. Let us look more closely at them.

1. Dilawar Hussain (1933-34): 59, 57; 13, 36. He and Gavaskar are the only Indian players to make two 50+ scores on Test debut.

2. DG Phadkar (1947-48): 51, 2; 55*, 13

3. AG Kripal Singh (1955-56): 100*; 63

4. SM Gavaskar (1970-71): 65, 67*; 116, 64* No less than four 50+ scores in his first two Tests. He and Dilawar are the only Indian players to score two fifties on Test debut.

5. J Arun Lal (1982-83): 63,1; 51

6. M Azharuddin (1984-85): 110; 48, 105

7. R Dravid (1996): 95; 84, 8

8. SC Ganguly (1996): 131; 136, 48 These two played their debut and second Tests together.

9. DJ Gandhi (1999-2000): 0, 75; 88, 31*

10. SK Raina (2010): 120; 62, 41*

12. RG Sharma (2013-14): 177; 111* Centuries in his first two innings, but not in the same Test.

12. PP Shaw (2018-19): 134; 70, 33*

13. MA Agarwal (2018-19): 76, 42; 77

14. W Sundar (2020-21): 62, 22; 85*,0

Some, like Dilawar, Arun Lal and Gandhi never scored a Test century.

Of these, only Gavaskar made four 50+ scores in his first two Tests. This is probably a world Test record. No one else from India made three 50+ scores in his first two Tests.