Cricket is a game where one good innings can have a huge impact on the career and guarantee a player more chances to cement his position in the team forever.
Similarly, a string of poor performances can do a lot of damage and it is tough to give a comeback in this very competitive sport.
The game of cricket has seen batsmen who have grabbed the opportunity with both hands and made it count. They have played some crucial innings that helped the team’s cause and took them over the line. In this article, we look at five famous cricketers who scored a century on their one-day cricket debut.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka faced each other in a five-match ODI series in UAE. After winning the first two matches quite comfortably, the Pakistani team were looking to win the third ODI and clinch the series.
In the third ODI, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first. Hasan Ali ripped through the batting lineup and picked up five wickets. Thanks to his brilliant bowling, Sri Lanka only managed to score 208 in 48.2 overs.
When Pakistan came out to chase it down, Imam-Ul-Haq played a terrific knock and scored his maiden century on the debut. He scored 100 off 125 balls. This calm and composed knock included five fours and two sixes. Pakistan won the game and clinched the series. Imam-ul-Haq was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match.
#4 Colin Ingram (124 of 126 vs Zimbabwe)
Colin Ingram had a good start to his career but failed to perform continuously and ultimately lost his place in the team. He played his last one-day five years back and with age catching up to him, it is highly unlikely that he will feature again in the national team.
South Africa hosted Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series in 2010. The hosts won the toss and chose to bat first but lost their opener Graeme Smith for just 19 runs. Ingram, the debutant who walked in at No.3 went on to build key-partnerships with Amla and Miller. As a result of these partnerships, the hosts posted a huge total of 351-6 in 50 overs.Ingram finished with 124 off 126 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
In reply, Brendan Taylor exploded for 145 off 136 balls but did not get the kind of support he deserved and the visitors lost the game by 64 runs. The debutant was awarded the Man of the Match.
#3 KL Rahul (100* off 115 vs Zimbabwe)
KL Rahul has had a terrific debut game but could not capitalize on the initial success and is now fighting for place in the squad. The swashbuckling opener is known for playing fearless cricket and can really tonk the ball well. However, he is very inconsistent and after a string of poor performances, he is now on the sidelines.
Rahul got a chance to prove himself in the series against Zimbabwe when all the frontline batsmen were rested. In the first ODI, India won the toss and chose to bowl first. The hosts were bundled out for just 168 runs, thanks to Bumrah’s 4/28.
In reply, India lost Nair early in the innings but Rahul and Rayudu combined for 162-run partnership for the second wicket and the team romped home. KL Rahul got to his maiden century in 115 balls. This was a slow and calculated innings with just seven fours and a solitary six. The debutant was presented the Man of the Match award.
#2 Martin Guptill (122* off 135 vs West Indies)
Martin Guptill is definitely one of the best batsmen of New Zealand today. He can score runs on any ground and his arrival has strengthened the Kiwis’ batting lineup. Guptill is the only New Zealand cricketer to score a double century in one-day cricket.
He made his debut against West Indies in 2009. In the forth one-day of the five-match ODI series, the hosts won the toss and chose to bat first. Guptill played a brilliant knock and set the stage on fire. He built 144-run partnership for the third wicket with Ross Taylor.
Guptill remained unbeaten on 122 off 135 balls and the Kiwis finished with 275-4 in 50 overs. In return, when West Indies came out for the chase, heavy rain caused the match to be abandoned after 10.3 overs.
#1 Andy Flower (115* off 152 vs Sri Lanka)
It is safe to say that Andy Flower is the greatest batsman to have ever played for Zimbabwe. The elegant left-hander transcended the Zimbabwean cricket and made his mark felt everytime he stepped his foot on a cricket field.
He is the leading run-scorer for Zimbabwe and had himself a wonderful debut game against Sri Lanka. Andy Flower made his debut in the 1992 world cup and scored a brilliant century to take Zimbabwe to a high score of 312 in 50 overs. He finished the game with 115 off 152 balls. This included eight fours and a six. The debutant did not show any signs of nervousness and built an unbeaten 145-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Andrew Waller.
However, the Zimbabwean bowlers could not control the Sri Lankan batsmen and lost the game. Albeit the team lost the game, Andy Flower was awarded the Man of the Match for his brilliant debut.