“Mystery-spinner”-Tharindu-Kaushal
Tharindu Kaushal made his debut against South Africa © Getty Images

When Angelo Mathews won the toss before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 quarter-final against South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground, he announced that Sri Lanka will be having a debutant — “a mystery spinner in the mould of Muttiah Muralitharan” — in the form of off-spinner Paskuwal Handi Tharindu Kaushal. From 29 List A matches, Kaushal has had 49 wickets at a very impressive 18.34 and an economy rate of 4.11.

Tharindu Kaushal is only the second cricketer to make his One-Day International debut in a knockout in the history of World Cup cricket. Wayne Larkins was the only other one, way back in the semi-final World Cup cricket 1979 against New Zealand at Old Trafford. Larkins hung around for 37 balls, scoring a mere seven before Jeremy Coney had caught him off Brian McKechnie — but he helped Mike Brearley put up 25 for the second wicket after the early wicket of Geoff Boycott.

ICC Champions Trophy, however, has witnessed as many as 17 debutants in knock-out matches, while ICC World Twenty 20 has had only one — Yusuf Pathan in the final of 2007.

List of debutants in knock-out matches of ICC tournaments

Player

Edition

Year

Stage

Against

Venue

Batting

Bowling

Fielding

Wayne Larkins

World Cup

1979

semi-final

New Zealand

Old Trafford

7 (37)

Mark Bailey

Champions Trophy

1998

pre-quarter-final

Zimbabwe

Bangabandhu

Matthew Bell

Champions Trophy

1998

pre-quarter-final

Zimbabwe

Bangabandhu

2 (15)

Alex Tait

Champions Trophy

1998

pre-quarter-final

Zimbabwe

Bangabandhu

10* (7)

7-0-37-2

Neil Johnson

Champions Trophy

1998

pre-quarter-final

New Zealand

Bangabandhu

27 (27)

10-1-64-1

Dale Benkenstein

Champions Trophy

1998

quarter-final

England

Bangabandhu

13* (11)

1 c

Alan Dawson

Champions Trophy

1998

quarter-final

England

Bangabandhu

9-0-51-1

Rion King

Champions Trophy

1998

semi-final

India

Bangabandhu

10-2-26-0

Vijay Dahiya

Champions Trophy

2000

pre-quarter-final

Kenya

Nairobi

2 c

Zaheer Khan

Champions Trophy

2000

pre-quarter-final

Kenya

Nairobi

10-0-48-3

Yuvraj Singh

Champions Trophy

2000

pre-quarter-final

Kenya

Nairobi

4-1-16-0

Kerry Jeremy

Champions Trophy

2000

pre-quarter-final

Sri Lanka

Nairobi

4* (14)

8-0-54-1

1 ro

Marlon Samuels

Champions Trophy

2000

pre-quarter-final

Sri Lanka

Nairobi

19 (32)

6-0-30-0

Paul Grayson

Champions Trophy

2000

quarter-final

South Africa

Nairobi

0 (1)

5-0-20-0

Robin Peterson

Champions Trophy

2002

semi-final

India

Premadasa

10-0-47-0

Salman Butt

Champions Trophy

2004

semi-final

West Indies

Rose Bowl

0 (2)

1 c

Yusuf Pathan

World T20

2007

final

Pakistan

New Wanderers

15 (8)

1-0-5-0

1 c

Steven Davies

Champions Trophy

2009

semi-final

Australia

Centurion

5 (4)

1 c

Aaron Redmond

Champions Trophy

2009

semi-final

Pakistan

New Wanderers

31 (55)

1 c

Tharindu Kaushal

World Cup

2015

quarter-final

South Africa

SCG

0 (1)

As is evident, no one has really taken the world by storm on debut. Aaron Redmond’s 31 has been the highest, though Neil Johnson had scored a 27-ball 27. Nobody else has managed to reach 20. Of the bowlers, Zaheer Khan had taken 3 for 48, Alex Tait 2 for 37, and Rion King had conceded 26 from 10 overs.