South African pace bowler Kyle Abbott made a sensational Test debut, picking up 7 for 29 on day two of the Centurion Test. The figures are the second best by the South African in his debut Test, and best ever by a Proteas bowler in his first Test innings. Thanks to Abbott’s brilliant debut, Pakistan were cleaned up for 156, and were asked to follow-on. Abbott’s figures are at number nine in the list of the ten best Test debuts. Here’s a look at other brilliant Test initiations for bowlers.
Albert Trott (Australia): 8/43 vs England, 1895
The best figures on debut were achieved by an Aussie back in 1895, the age of timeless Tests, at the Adelaide Oval. Trott achieved the figures during England’s second innings, when they were chasing 526 to win. Trott bowled 27 overs, 10 of them maidens, and conceded only 43 runs en route to picking up eight wickets. George Giffen got the other two scalps as Australia won by 382 runs.
Bob Massie (Australia): 8/53 vs England, 1972
The second best figures on debut were also achieved by an Aussie. Massie picked up 8 for 53 in England’s second innings at Lord’s as the Englishmen were bowled out for 116. Chasing 81 to win, Australia got home by eight wickets. Incidentally, Massie had picked up 8 for 84 in England’s first innings, which is number six on the list.
Narendra Hirwani (India): 8/61 vs West Indies, 1988
The Indian leggie made a sensational debut against the West Indians at Madras (now Chennai), picking up eight wickets in Windies’ first innings, as they were bowled out for 184. Chasing 416 to win, Hirwani was in his elements again, picking up 8 for 75 in Windies’second innings, as India won by 255 runs. Hirwani’s second innings effort features at number five on the list.
Lance Klusener (South Africa): 8/64 vs India, 1996
Zulu isremembered more as an unbelievable hitter of the cricket ball, but it was as a fast bowler that he first took world cricket by a storm. India were chasing 467 in the Test at Eden Gardens, Klusener’s eight-for saw them collapse to 137 all out as South Africa romped home by 329 runs.
Alf Valentine (West Indies): 8/104 vs England, 1950
This was a rare occasion when a sensational Test debut by a bowler went in vain. Valentine achieved the above-mentioned figures in England’s first innings at Old Trafford, as the batting side were bowled out for 312. The Windies however suffered batting collapses in both their innings to lose by 202 runs.
Jason Krejza (Australia): 8/215 vs India, 2008
Yet another occasion of an eight-for coming in a losing cause. Delivering nearly 44 overs, Krejza ended up with figures of 8 for 215 at Nagpur. India though had raked up 441. Australia’s second-innings batting failure saw them go down by 172 runs.
Dominic Cork (England): 7 for 43 vs West Indies, 1995
A relatively strong West Indian line up needed 296 to win the Test at Lord’s. Sherwin Campbell gave them hope with his 93, but Cork destroyed West Indies with his seven-for as England won by 72 runs.
--By A Cricket Analyst