Kusal Perera became the 38th player to score a half-century on Test debut © AFP
Kusal Perera became the 38th player to score half-centuries on both innings of his Test debut © AFP

A total of 38 players have made two 50s on Test debut, Kusal Perera being the latest. Bharath Seervi does a statistical roundup of all players who had such a start to their Test career.

It is nothing to with a player performing brilliantly in his maiden Test and going on to become a great player and vice versa. But it is always a good to begin something with big. For debutant batsmen, a century in any innings or good decent scores in both innings should be enough to validate the decision of the selection committee. With an increase in the number of players in domestic cricket striving to play for their international sides, it has become almost mandatory to make a mark when playing for the first time. This was the not the same case in earlier days of cricket. READ: Best batsmen when following-on in Tests

There are 38 batsmen who made fifties in each on Test debut, the latest being Kusal Perera against India at SSC in the Test that started on August 28, 2015. He scored 55 and 70. READ: Lowest ‘highest’ opening partnership in a Test series

The first of these 38 was KS Ranjitsinhji who scored 62 and 154* against Australia at Old Trafford in 1896. Out of the 38, 13 batsmen men have debut since 2000.

Only two batsmen have scored centuries in both innings in their debut Test — Lawrence Rowe (214 and 100*) for West Indies in 1971-72 and Yasir Hameed (170 and 105) for Pakistan in 2003.

Centuries in both innings on Test debut

Batsman Inns 1 Inns 2 For Opposition Venue Date
Lawrence Rowe 214 100* West Indies New Zealand Sabina Park 16-Feb-1972
Yasir Hameed 170 105 Pakistan Bangladesh Karachi 20-Aug-2003

Century in the first innings and fifty in the second on Test debut

Batsman Inns 1 Inns 2 For Opposition Venue Date
George Gunn 119 74 England Australia SCG 13-Dec-1907
Rodney Redmond 107 56 New Zealand Pakistan Eden Park 16-Feb-1973
Azhar Mahmood 128* 50* Pakistan South Africa Rawalpindi 06-Oct-1997
Lou Vincent 104 54 New Zealand Australia WACA 30-Nov-2001
Scott Styris 107 69* New Zealand West Indies St George’s 28-Jun-2002
Andrew Strauss 112 83 England New Zealand Lord’s 20-May-2004
Umar Akmal 129 75 Pakistan New Zealand Dunedin 24-Nov-2009

Fifty in the first innings and century in the second on Test debut

Batsman Inns 1 Inns 2 For Opposition Venue Date
KS Ranjitsinhji 62 154* England Australia Old Trafford 16-Jul-1896
Herbie Collins 70 104 Australia England SCG 17-Dec-1920
Paul Gibb 93 106 England South Africa New Wanderers 24-Dec-1938
Gordon Greenidge 93 107 West Indies India Chinnaswamy 22-Nov-1974
Alastair Cook 60 104* England India Nagpur 01-Mar-2006
Francois du Plessis 78 110* South Africa Australia Adelaide Oval 22-Nov-2012

Fifties (but not hundreds) in each innings on Test debut

Batsman Inns 1 Inns 2 For Opposition Venue Date
Bruce Mitchell 88 61* South Africa England Edgbaston 15-Jun-29
Frank de Caires 80 70 West Indies England Kensington Oval 11-Jan-30
Jackie Grant 53* 71* West Indies Australia Adelaide Oval 12-Dec-30
Dilawar Hussain 59 57 India England Eden Gardens 05-Jan-34
Merv Wallace 52 56 New Zealand England Lord’s 26-Jun-37
Cyril Poole 55 69* England India Eden Gardens 30-Dec-51
Noel Harford 93 64 New Zealand Pakistan Lahore 26-Oct-55
Peter Richardson 81 73 England Australia Trent Bridge 07-Jun-56
Graham Dowling 74 58 New Zealand South Africa Old Wanderers 26-Dec-61
Bryan Davis 54 58 West Indies Australia Queen’s Park Oval 26-Mar-65
Clive Lloyd 82 78* West Indies India Brabourne 13-Dec-66
Sunil Gavaskar 65 67* India West Indies Queen’s Park Oval 06-Mar-71
Tony Greig 57 62 England Australia Old Trafford 08-Jun-72
Peter Toohey 82 57 Australia India The Gabba 02-Dec-77
Rick Darling 65 56 Australia India Adelaide Oval 28-Jan-78
Sew Shivnarine 53 63 West Indies Australia Bourda 31-Mar-78
Bruce Laird 92 75 Australia West Indies The Gabba 01-Dec-79
Javed Omar 62 85* Bangladesh Zimbabwe Bulawayo 19-Apr-01
Kevin Pietersen 57 64* England Australia Lord’s 21-Jul-05
Tamim Iqbal 53 84 Bangladesh New Zealand Dunedin 04-Jan-08
Dinesh Chandimal 58 54 Sri Lanka South Africa Kingsmead 26-Dec-11
Moises Henriques 68 81* Australia India Chepauk 22-Feb-13
Kusal Perera 55 70 Sri Lanka India SSC 28-Aug-15

Notes:

–          Hameed did not score any other century in his career’s next 24 Tests. He scored 8 fifties from 47 innings.

–          Rowe scored five more centuries including a triple century in the next 29 Tests of his career.

–          Ranji was the first to score a 150 in his team’s second innings on Test debut. Only two more batsmen have emulated him — George Headley (176) against England at Kensington Oval in 1929-30 and Fawad Alam (168) against Sri Lanka at Colombo (P Sara) in 2009.

–          Paul Gibb and Gordon Greenidge are the only players to get out in 90s in one innings and score a hundred in the other innings on debut.

–          Azhar Mahmood (128* and 50*) and Jackie Grant (53* and 71*) are the only batsmen to make two unbeaten fifties on debut.

–          Clive Lloyd (82 and 78*) and Bruce Laird (92 and 75) are the only batsmen to make two 75s on debut without making a hundred.

–          Jackie Grant was captaining on debut.

–          Dilawar Hussain, Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal were keeping wickets.

–          Sew Shivnarine (53 and 63), Azhar (128* and 50*), Chandimal (58 and 54), Moises Henriques (68 and 81*) and Kusal (55 and 70) are the only players to make fifties in both innings on Test debut batting at No. 7 or lower. All scored those runs at No. 7.

–          A total of 11 of these have come in losing causes: Ranji was the first and Kusal, the last.

Highest individual scores on debut batting only in one innings

Three batsmen have scored double centuries on their Test debut batting in only one innings: Brendon Kuruppu (201*) against New Zealand at Colombo CCC in 1986-87, Matthew Sinclair (214) against West Indies at Wellington in 1999-00 and Jacques Rudolph (222*) against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2002-03.

Two others scored double-centuries on Test debut but they had batted in the other innings as well. Rowe who scored 214 and followed it with 100 not out, while Tip Foster followed his 287 with 19 against Australia at SCG in 1902-03.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)