It is considered a remarkable achievement if a batsman scores century on debut in an ODI match. A century on debut will be like an ‘icing on the cake’ moment for the cricketer who gets a chance to represent his nation at the international level.
In test cricket, there are more than 100 batsmen who have scored a century in their debut match. While as in ODIs, just a handful of players have scored hundred in their first match. It is understood, the overs are limited, the pressure is more as compared to the test cricket where you get enough time to settle and score runs.
Due to time and space constraint, it was not possible for us to list the names of all debutant centurion test batsmen here one by one. Hence we decided to give you a brief description of only those players who have scored hundred in their ODI debut matches. There is only one Indian in this list. Let us start with the most senior one.
Dennis Leslie Amiss is the first International cricketer who scored a century on ODI debut. This prolific batsman from England made his ODI debut on 24 August 1972. It was a bilateral series between arch rivals England and Australia. It was only the second ODI international and the first match of the bilateral one-day series. Australia won the toss and decided to bat. Australia made 222 for 8 in 60 overs with fifties from Ross Edwards and great Ian Chappell. Amiss led from the front and scored 103 from 134 balls. He became the first batsman to score a century on ODI debut. This prolific batsman who scripted history will always be remembered as the man who scored the first ever century in ODI cricket. His team won the game comfortably by 6 wickets and he received the ‘Man of the Match’ for his splendid knock.
Desmond Haynes is one of the finest cricketing legends of all times. This great West Indian batsman played 238 ODIs for his nation and scored 8648 runs. He has 17 ODI centuries and 57 fifties against his name. Desmond Haynes scored a ton on debut against Australia at St John’s Antigua in 1978. His match-winning ton in his debut match came off just 136 balls. He scored destructive 148 runs and took the score 313 for 9. West Indies won by 44 runs and Desmond Haynes picked up the ‘man of the match award’ for playing a wonderful knock.
Andy Flower is one of the greatest international cricketers of all times and the best batsman, Zimbabwe has ever produced. He alongside his elder brother Grant Flower gave a real impetus to the cricket in Zimbabwe. His career stats are enough to prove he was a world-class cricketer. He played 63 tests and 213 ODIs and scored more than 11,000 runs in both the formats of the game. One of his greatest achievements is a century in debut match against Sri Lanka in a 1992 world cup match. He showed the cricketing world his immense talent in his first ODI. Due to his knock of 115 of 152 deliveries, Zimbabwe was able to produce a mammoth total of 312 for 4 on the board. But luck was definitely not with Zimbabwe on that day as they lost the match due to poor bowling performance. Thus Andy Flower ended up on the losing side. However, he was adjudged the man of the match.
On September 29, 1995, Pakistan gave a chance to a young 19-year-old cricketer, Salem Elahi to debut in the international cricket. It was the first match of the tri-series against Srilanka on a home ground. The venue was Gujranwala, Pakistan. His elder brothers Zahoor Elahi and Saleem Elahi had also played international cricket for Pakistan. So the pressure was already on the youngster to perform in the match. And playing in front of the home crowd had doubled this pressure. When this inexperienced youngster stepped on the field alongside experienced Amir Sohail as an opener, he looked confident and the promising talent from the first delivery he faced from the Chaminda Vaas, one of the great bowlers of all time, cricket has produced ever.
Elahi faced 133 balls and played a very beautiful knock of 102 runs, thus became the fourth player overall and the first for the Pakistan to score a ton in debut ODI match. Before Saleem Elahi, this feat was achieved by only three cricketers, Denis Amiss of Australia, Desmond Haynes of West Indies, and Andy Flower of Zimbabwe. Elahi’s knock was special and more wonderful because he was making debut even before playing a single ball of first-class cricket. Pakistan Cricket board played a gamble by giving him a chance. The gamble paid off handsomely as he batted till the end to make the most of the opportunity. He is till date the youngest player in the international cricket making a century on ODI debut.
Martin Guptill, one of the dangerous batsmen in limited-overs cricket scored a ton in the 4th ODI of a five-match series against West Indies in 2009. The way he batted in his debut ODI, he showed his potential to the world of becoming a successful ODI cricketer. Right from his debut match, he has been performing consistently for his team New Zealand. He scored unbeaten 122 in his first match and helped his team New Zealand to post a competitive total of 275 for 4 on the board. But unfortunately his efforts couldn’t produce results as rain abandoned the match and the play was stopped after just 10.3 hours of the West Indian innings.
Colin Ingram is one of the most explosive limited over cricket batsman of the modern day cricket. He scored a century in his debut match against Zimbabwe in 2010. It was the opening match of a 3-match bilateral series and Ingram walked on to the field one down after the fall of skipper Graeme Smith’s wicket. He scored a very beautiful knock of 124 runs on 126 balls. His knock propelled the team’s score to 351 for the loss of 6 wickets in 50 overs. Colin Ingram was adjudged as the man of the match as South Africa won the game by a margin of 64 runs.
Rob Nicol is one other Kiwi batsmen who scored a ton on ODI debut. It was a three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. The hosts won the toss on Oct 20, 2011, and decided to bat. Skipper Taylor scored brilliant maiden 128 runs. In reply, the opening pair of Martin Guptill and Nicol scored 153 for the opening wicket. Nicol played till the end and scored unbeaten 108 of 131 balls. Nicol’s international career was short as he played just 22 ODIs, 2 tests, and 21 T20s. He announced his retirement from all the formats of the game in June 2018. Thus we can say that he could not cultivate much from his excellent start to his ODI career.
Phillip Hughes, former Australian middle-order batsman, who is unfortunately no more among us had a very excellent start to his career. He scored a century on Debut against Srilanka. He made his international debut against Srilanka on Jan 11, 2013. The five-match ODI series was being played in Australia and it was the first match of the series. Hughes opened the inning for Australia and scored blistering 112 runs from 129 balls. With valuable contributions from David Hussy and Bailey, Australia was able to put a total of 305 before Proteas. South Africa lost the match by a massive margin of 107 runs as they lost their last eight wickets for just 88 runs. Unfortunately, Phillip Hughes died when a bouncer struck in his neck during a domestic game. He was taken to hospital where he died after remaining in Coma for 2 days. His sudden death came as a bolt from the blue for the entire cricketing fraternity.
Michael John Lumb is a former English all-round cricketer who represented England in the One Day and T20 international cricket. Michael Lumb was born on 12 February 1980 in South Africa. This left-handed batsman who was also a right- arm medium pacer bowler became the second English batsman to score a ton in the debut ODI match. Overall he was the ninth to achieve this feat in the world. Lumb made his ODI debut against West Indies on 28 February. His century compelled English Cricket board to give him a chance in the 2014 World T20 cup.
Mark Chapman who plays for New Zealand is one of those 10 international cricketers who have played for two nations. He made his debut for Hong Kong against the UAE way back on November 16, 2015 during ICC World Cricket League Championship at Dubai. Chapman stepped on to the field after Hong Kong were two down. He made an impressive unbeaten 124 on 116 balls. Thus he became the first player from Hong Kong to score a century on ODI debut. Chapman’s inning helped Hong Kong to win the match by 89 runs. After playing for Hong Kong for nearly 2 years, he made his international debut for New Zealand on Feb 13, 2018.
KL Rahul is the only Indian who has scored a ton on debut. Rahul made his international debut against Australia in Melbourne in 2014 but it was a test match. He made his ODI debut two years later in 2016 against Zimbabwe and scripted history by scoring a century on debut. His magnificent century helped India to register a resounding nine-wicket win over Zimbabwe. Before KL Rahul ton, the highest score on debut by an Indian was 86 of Robin Uthappa’s against England in 2006.
Temba Bavuma is one of the least known players who have been successful to score a century on debut. This South African Batsman made his debut two years ago on September 25, 2016 against Ireland and scored a ton in his debut match. He became the second South African cricketer who was able to achieve this remarkable feat. Playing first, South Africa posted a massive total of 354 before an inexperienced Ireland team. Bavuma opened the inning for South Africa alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock. The opening pair scored 159 for the first wicket before De Kock was out on 82 runs. Bavuma scored 113 runs from 123 deliveries. South Africa won the match by a massive margin of 206 runs as Ireland was bowled out by Proteas on just 148. Bavuma has played just two one days for South Africa but he is a regular feature in the South African Test setup.
Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of the legendary batsman, Inzimam-ul-Haq, became the 2nd Pakistani and overall 13th ODI player to score a ton on debut. He made his debut against Sri Lanka on 18 October 2017. He was named the man of the match. He and Fakhar Zaman scored record 304 partnership for the opening wicket. With his valuable century contribution, Pakistan was able to take its score to 399, the highest ever team has made in the ODI cricket.
South African cricketer Reeza Hendricks is the latest one-day international player to score a century in the debut match. He scored a century against Sri Lanka on August 5, 2018. He scored a century on just 88 balls which is the fastest ODI hundred by a debutant. His blistering 100 helped his team to clinch 78 run victory against Sri Lanka in the third one day international of the series. He became the third South African batsman to score a century on debut. South Africa posted a mammoth total of 363 on board and thus made it near imposable for Sri Lanka to make a comeback in the match. Srilanka was bowled out for 285 by South Africa. This way South Africa recorded their third successive victory in the five-match series.
Cricket may be not so popular in Europe but in Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, England, and Africa, it is the most loved sport here. And, when it comes to cricket in the context of India and Pakistan, it is not just a game but the religion of the people living in the sub-continent.
When the rivals Pakistan and India play with each other, the emotions run high on both sides. The contest between these two rival teams is not just taken as a game but a matter of national supremacy. The players of both the team feel extra pressure to perform well. Similarly, when the rivals Australia and England play with each other, sparks fly and emotions run high.
The Ashes is perceived as the pinnacle of cricket for both England and Australia. And if a debutant scores century in the Ashes, he scripts history and is considered as a future legend of the game.
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