After the first hour of play in the 1st Test between India and New Zealand in Wellington on Day 1, India might have thought they had seen off the new ball attack of Tim Southee and Trent Boult and could afford to relax a bit. When Colin de Grandhomme was brought on as the third seamer, his dibbly dobbly pace might even have lulled Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara into a feeling of complacency.
Then came Test debutant Kyle Jamieson as the fourth seamer. Within minutes, Pujara had been caught behind and Virat Kohli had followed soon after. India were 40/3 on Day 1 of a Test in New Zealand – a familiar sight was repeating itself.
By the end of the innings, Jamieson had also picked up the wickets of Hanuma Vihari and Ishant Sharma, to end with the best bowling figures of the innings – 4/39 from 16 overs.
On Day 3, India looked to have found a window back in the game when Jasprit Bumrah got BJ Watling with the first ball of the day. Keeping the New Zealand lead down to double digits seemed a real possibility. Till out came Jamieson at No. 9.
What followed was a bemusing anti-climax to the day’s early promise for India. Smashing four sixes – only two sixes had been hit in the entire Test before that – Jamieson counter-punched his way to a 45-ball 44, combining with De Grandhomme to hurt the Indians into submission.
Jamieson’s assault with the bat helped the Kiwis extend their lead to 183 runs, leaving India with a mountain to climb in the second innings. New Zealand eventually won the match by 10 wickets.
Five recent debuts which have haunted India
India’s luck with Test debutants has gone into dangerously vulnerable territory in recent years – Jamieson being the latest.
Since 2014, James Neesham, Jos Buttler Josh Hazlewood, Kusal Perera, Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings are some of the Test debutants India have allowed to prosper in their first outings. More recently, Sam Curran emerged as India’s nightmare in the 2018 tour of England, but Curran had played one Test before that.
James Neesham – Neesham made his Test debut during India’s tour of New Zealand in 2014. Like Jamieson, his debut also was in Wellington. India, batting second, took a huge first innings lead of 246 runs and looked favourites to win. However, the match was drawn as Brendon McCullum scored a triple century and Neesham, batting at No. 8, scored an unbeaten 137 off 154 balls.
Jos Buttler – Buttler made his Test debut in the same year when India went on a tour of England. His 83-ball 85, batting at No. 7, contributed to England’s first innings total of 569/7 declared, and India never recovered from that to eventually lose the match by 266 runs. He was also responsible for the catches of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma.
Josh Hazlewood – Josh Hazlewood burst through in international cricket with his Test debut against India in December 2014. He took figures of 5/68 in the first innings, even as the other Australian bowlers struggled to find their rhythm. The match was eventually won by Australia by 4 wickets in thrilling circumstances. Hazlewood was soon christened the ‘new Glenn Mcgrath’.
Haseeb Hameed, Keaton Jennings – England found two instant successes in the role of Alastair Cook’s opening partner on England’s 2016 tour of India. Hameed, a batsman of Indian origin, made his debut in the 1st Test. He had scores of 31 and 82 as the match ended in a draw. Injury forced out of the team after that and Keaton Jennings was called up to the squad as yet another young opener. The Durham opener scored 112 in his first innings. However, he scored a duck in the second innings as India won the match by an innings, with Kohli scoring a double ton.
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