Scoring a century on Test debut is not as difficult as one may think. As many as 108 players have scored 110 centuries on their Test debut, including LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who scored centuries in both innings.
There are several who failed to score a century after their debut. The full list (up to 15/05/2021) is given below.
Players can drop off this list (as Fawad Alam did after over 11 years). Some current players (from PP Shaw downwards) can be reasonably expected to score another century sooner or later.
The most Tests played here are 25 by Yasir Hameed and 24 by L Amarnath. The latter was an useful bowler and a relatively better captain (by Indian standards of those days).
The most 50s scored after debut are 8 by Yasir Hameed and 7 by SK Raina. The latter was more successful in limited-overs matches, and was one of the first to score a century in a T20I.
Now we look at those who never crossed 50 after their debut.
Ganteaume played in only one innings. RE Redmond is not here as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.
The most Tests played among these players are 12 by van Zyl and 10 by DR Smith.
Fawad Alam (again!) got off this list after over 11 years.
Another one-sided series which was a common feature of the last few months.
Here is a full record of Tests between these teams:
Zimbabwe has only won 3 of these Tests. But they have been significant, as the first win in 1994-95 was Zimbabwe’s first win (though they lost the series 2-1). The second in 1998-99 ensured Zimbabwe’s first series win abroad. And the third in 2013 was one of their rare drawn series against a major team.
Highlights of this series: Babar Azam won all 4 of his first 4 Tests as captain.
Abid Ali’s 215* is the highest for Pak v Zim in Zim, surpassing Younis Khan’s 200* in 2013. The Pak v Zim record is still Wasim Akram’s 257* in 1996 at Sheikhupura.
He also became the first to make a score of 215* in a Test. Several others have been dismissed on 215, most recently MA Agarwal and M Labuschagne.
Nauman Ali (97 and 5-86) came close to becoming the first to make a century +5wi for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. PA Strang had already done this for Zim v Pak in 1996.
Fawad Alam now has the most centuries (4) without a score between 50 and 99. The previous “record” was 3 centuries by Ravi Bopara. However, it should be mentioned that ED Weekes made 5 centuries before making his first fifty, and GA Headley went a step ahead with 6 centuries before stooping to a fifty.
It is unclear what form the WTC will take in 2021-23 (or, indeed, if it will take place at all). If the restriction of the top 9 teams are taken, it may happen that Afghanistan will replace Bangladesh.
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:
Pathum Nissanka became the fourth Sri Lankan player to score a century on debut.
Here is a list of all Sri Lankan players to have scored a 50 or more on Test debut.
Note that several members of the current Sri Lankan team are in this list. Chandimal and Kusal (MDKJ) Perera had scored two fifties on debut, along with Hasuranga (PWH) de Silva, Karunaratne, Dickwella and Dilruwan (MDK) Perera.
Afghanistan has now played 6 Tests, neatly divided into 3 losses and 3 wins.
Here we compare the performances in the first 5 Tests for all teams (except Ireland who have played only 3 Tests).
(1 point for a win, 0.5 for a draw)
We see that Australia and England have the best performance in their first 5 Tests, followed by Afghanistan, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Australia is the only team to win their first Test, and Zimbabwe the only one to draw their first Test. Zimbabwe in fact drew their first 2 Tests.
Bangladesh and South Africa lost their first 5 Tests in a row.
We now look at individual performances by Afghan players in the 6 Tests played so far.
Most runs (100 and more):
Note the consistency of Asghar Afghan and Rahmat Shah who each made four 50+ scores.
Highest scores (75 and above):
While H Shahidi has the only double century here, others have been more consistent.
Bowling (5 or more wickets overall):
Rashid Khan has more than twice the next (Amir Hamza)
Innings bowling (4 or more wickets):
Note the dominance of Rashid Khan here. He and Amir Hamza are the only ones to have taken 4wi. Hamza’s 5-74 against WI was on debut.
Match bowling (5 or more wickets):
The top three places are by Rashid Khan, and the next two by Amir Hamza. He took 6-79 on debut.
Most dismissals (4 or more):
While wicketkeeper A Zazai has 10 dismissals, I Zadran has the most (6) by a non-keeper.
Rashid Khan is the only one who can be called an all-rounder.
All-round match (fifty and 5wi):
Here, too, the only standout performer is Rashid Khan. He was captaining his side, and scored a fifty and took over 10 wickets. The only other Test captains who did this are Imran Khan (v Ind 1982-83) and AR Border (v WI 1988-89).
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 10wms 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 AV 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.