© Getty Images
Three of the ten debut performers of 2015 (from left): Manish Pandey, Mitchell Santner and Mark Wood.© Getty Images

2015 witnessed a lot of action-packed cricket being played, and will be widely reckoned for the 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup which Australia convincingly won. It also witnessed the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Several budding talents got the opportunity to showcase their skills at international level, of whom many made an impact on debut. The first appearance is always an intense opportunity for any cricketer; it demands immense mettle and ability to soak in the pressure. As 2015 comes to an end, Suraj Choudhari pens down 10 scintillating debutants who fought fire with fire and registered a fine performance across formats. READ: Yearender 2015: Top 10 most thrilling ODIs

1.  Kagiso Rabada (South Africa, ODI): Rabada has been a sensation since the moment he donned the South African jersey. He stunned the cricket cognoscenti with his pace and control. A bit of early movement with the new ball and ability to bowl in the death have earned him accolades from cricketing greats. Rabada debuted in the first ODI in the Bangladesh series on July 10. He claimed a hat-trick, and ripped through the Bangladeshi top-order and claimed 6 for 16 in just 8 overs as Bangladesh won the contest by 8 wickets. He was named Player of the Match award on debut. ALSO READ: 2015 Yearender: Top 10 Test bowlers of the year

2.  Manish Pandey (India, ODI): Pandey is just another example of the immense talent in the Indian domestic circuit. After a series of consistent domestic performances, Pandey finally got an opportunity to showcase his talent on the big stage, and rightly did so in his first appearance — against Zimbabwe at Harare on July 14. India were 68 for 3 when he walked in. Along with Kedar Jadhav, he bailed India out of crisis. They added 144, of which Pandey accounted for 71. He adapted to the conditions quickly and made the most of his talent, but is yet to play another ODI.

3.  Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh, ODI): Young Mustafizur Rahman ran riot against India with subtle changes in pace and canny variations in his debut ODI game at Mirpur on June 18. Bangladesh were defending 308 in 50 overs — certainly not a massive target in 2015. But Mustafizur bowled with immense confidence and snared 5 Indian scalps: he broke the spine of the Indian batting order by sending Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane in quick succession. He followed this with Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. He was named Player of the Match as well.

4.  Dushmantha Chameera (Sri Lanka, Test): In the years to come, Chameera will be one bowler Sri Lanka will surely count on. He got his Test cap on June 25, 2015. Chameera bowled consistently at above 140 kmph on debut, against Pakistan in the Test series in June 29. He picked just one wicket in the first innings as Tharindu Kaushal starred with the ball, but bounced back emphatically in the second innings and chipped three Pakistani wickets as the hosts were bundled out for 329. Sri Lanka won the Test by 7 wickets.

5.  Mitchell Santner (New Zealand, T20I): Santner, on T20I debut against England at Old Trafford on June 23, bowled exceptionally well on a pitch where frontline bowlers were taken for cleaners. He bowled 4 overs for 28 with the prized scalps of Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow to his name. Once again, he proved that T20s can be decided by wily bowling. England scored a massive 191 in 20 overs.  New Zealand failed to chase down the set target and lost by 56 runs. Santner didn’t have a good day with the bat but has the capability to bat.

6.  Mark Wood (England, Test): Wood justified his selection in the first Test against New Zealand in May. Wood bowled at brisk pace and swung the ball off a length, and had three New Zealand scalps in the first innings. New Zealand piled up a big score, but England fought back. Wood had another wicket in the second innings as England won the Test by 124 runs. The numbers do not reflect it, but Wood did enough to emerge as the third seamer to back James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

7.  David Willey (England, T20I): With his left-arm swing bowling, decent batsmanship and a livewire fielding, Willey has it all in him to become a fine T20I player. On T20I debut against New Zealand on June 23, Willey stunned everyone with his captivating spell with the ball. He drew first blood when he got rid of the in-form Martin Guptill, and returned to clean up the tail.

8.  Babar Azam (Pakistan, ODI): Azam has played just a handful of ODIs for Pakistan, but has already left a mark with his prolific run with the bat. He was unlucky, for his debut match wasn’t played to a result due to rain. Pakistan, locking horns with Zimbabwe on May 31, batted first and looked comfortable from the start. Azam batted at four and played elegantly for his 60-ball 54 before his innings was cut short by Christopher Mpofu, but till then he was timing the ball well along with canny placements.

9.  George Worker (New Zealand, T20I): George Worker was phenomenal on T20I debut. He batted at three in the only T20I against Zimbabwe on August 9. New Zealand were 26 for 1 wicket when he walked out. Worker took on the Zimbabwean bowlers from the moment he walked out. He slammed 62 off just 38 balls with 3 fours and 4 sixes, and helped New Zealand post an enormous 198. He was named Player of the Match.

10.  Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan, ODI): Unfortunately for Rizwan, his debut performance failed to carry his team over the line. Pakistan were chasing 330 runs against Bangladesh on April 17. The match was evenly poised when Rizwan came out. He was not overawed by the situation or the attack. Unfortunately, though he didn’t throw his wicket away, wickets kept tumbling at the other end. He made a well-played 67 as Pakistan were bundled out for 250.

(Suraj Choudhari is a reporter with Criclife and CricketCountry. He is an avid follower of the game, and plays the sport at club level. He has a radical understanding about the subtle nuances and intricacies of cricket, and tries to express it through paper and pen.)