Before the start of the second Test between India and South Africa, there were speculations that Chris Morris would replace the injured Dale Steyn in the South African playing XI. However, citing India’s shortcoming against debutant pacers, the Proteas team management decided to field the young Lungi Ngidi in place of Morris.
As it turned out, India’s star-studded batting line-up struggled against the 21-year-old. Ngidi left the big boys dancing to the beat of his zipping deliveries. Parthiv Patel had a good taste of the same when a steeply-rising delivery from the debutant bruised his chest.
Here is a list of five pacers who have proved to be far too good for the Indian batsmen on their debut.
In a rain-plagued series, India were 1-0 up as the two teams geared up for the do-or-die match for the Bengal tigers in Dhaka. India, being put to bat first, collapsed for a paltry 105 in less than 25 overs.
The 19-year-old Taskin Ahmed ran through the Indian batting line-up, ending with figures of 5/28 on his debut. He became the first Bangladeshi bowler to pick up a 5-wicket haul on their ODI debut.
However, India came back hard, largely owing to Stuart Binny’s career-best figures of 6/4 to wrap up Bangladesh for 58 runs. Thus, India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
This was a match-turning – rather series-determining – performance from the Australian quick. Indian were riding high on confidence after they almost pulled off a historic win under the leadership of Virat Kohli (Dhoni being out of the match due to an injury) in the first Test match of India’s 2014-15 tour of Australia. Had India won the second match, it would have shifted the momentum in their favour.
Instead, Josh Hazlewood made his presence felt in the first session itself when he tricked Pujara into nicking an out-swinger to the keeper. He further broke the back of India’s middle-order, dismissing Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and MS Dhoni to end with figures of 5/68 in the first innings, and 7/142 in the match.
A year after Taskin Ahmed stunned the Indian batsmen on his debut, it was Mustafizur Rehman’s turn to replicate the act. The venue was the same, the opposition was also the same. The only thing that was different was the result.
Batting first, Bangladesh set an enormous target of 308 for India to chase. India started strong but were led astray halfway due to some crafty bowling from ‘The Fizz’. The batsmen had no reply to Mustafizur’s well-disguised off-cutters and yorkers in the middle and death overs.
As a result, India fell short of their target by 79 runs. Mustafizur bagged the Man of the Match award for his match-defining figures of 5/50.
How the hosts dominated Australia on their 2017 tour of India is evident by the fact that the Aussies were only able to win two out of the eight matches that took place. One out of these two wins came on the back of the performance of a rookie fast bowler.
The first match of the 3-match T20 series was curtailed due to rain. Hence, Jason Behrendorff could just bowl a solitary over on his debut. In the next match at Guwahati, he returned to trigger a collapse in the Indian batting.
Jason Behrendorff (4/21) clinched each of India’s first four wickets – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey. His terrific spell helped the Aussies level the series, as the final match was washed out due to rain.
In the recent India-South Africa encounter in the second Test match, the visitors faced a bolt out of blue in the form of the young Lungi Ngidi. In his build and stature, he looks like Rabada, his fellow fast bowler. In pace and efficiency as well, he gives the world number one Test bowler a run for his money.
After a lone scalp of Parthiv Patel in the first innings, Ngidi came back stronger later in the match to pick up a 6-wicket haul in the second innings. He ended with match figures of 7/90 and bagged the Man of the Match award on his debut.