With Ireland and Afghanistan now in the Test arena, we look at performances in the maiden Tests for all teams. Australia and England played their maiden Tests against each other on 15 Mar 1877.
Of the 12 teams, only Australia won and only Zimbabwe drew. The 10 remaining teams lost, including West Indies, Pakistan and Afghanistan by an innings. The maiden Tests of Australia, England and Ireland were relatively closely fought.
Ireland’s 5-wicket loss is the lowest losing margin by wickets by a team playing their debut Test. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lost by 7 and 9 wickets respectively.
In contrast, Afghanistan’s loss by an innings and 262 runs is the worst losing margin by a debutant team.
By runs alone, England lost by 45 runs and India by 158.
In contrast, Afghanistan suffered the heaviest defeat here and the only one in a 2-day Test, being dismissed twice on the second day.
The best scores in maiden tests are 165* by C Bannerman, 145 by Aminul Islam, 121 by DL Houghton and now 118 by KJ O’Brien. Only South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan failed to record a fifty on debut. AB Tancred actually scored 29 in both innings. India, Pakistan and the West Indies just scraped through with fifties.
In all cases the bowler with the best innings bowling and best match bowling are the same. The best innings bowling here is 7-55 by Kendall in the very first Test, like his compatriot Bannerman. The next best is 6-132 by Naimur Rehman. There are a few other 5-fors.
The best match bowling is also from the very first Test, 8-89 by England’s A Shaw. Kendall with 8-109 is second.
Also note the all-round performance of New Zealand’s RC Blunt who has the highest score, best innings bowling and best match bowling in his team’s maiden Test.
Some of these Tests involved players who had already represented other countries. These are Amir Elahi (India) and AJ Traicos (South Africa) who were therefore not making their Test debuts.
In the recent maiden Test of Ireland, B Rankin was the only one from his team who had played in Tests earlier, having played once for England. Everyone mentioned in the above table other than Elahi, Traicos and Rankin were making their Test debut.
Tail piece: The best batting and bowling figures by Afghanistan were by relatively lesser known players.