Mitchell Swepson could possibly be in line for a Baggy Green during Australia’s ongoing tour to India. The leggie comes in with hopes pinned on him to strengthen Australia’s spin bowling reserves for one of their tricky tests. His teammate, Glenn Maxwell, had won his debut during their last visit back in 2013. In fact, as many as 17 Australian players have made their Test debuts in India and not many have gone on to have long careers.
Here is a list of the Australian players who made their Test debuts in India and the total number of games they’ve featured in:
|Player||Year of debut||Tests played in career|
India hasn’t been the happiest place to debut for Australians. Michael Clarke and Peter Siddle are exceptions as they went on to have long Test careers but most were not able to hold a spot in the side. Clarke scored a century on debut and went on to become one of their finest batsmen over the next decade. Siddle became an important part of their bowling attack. The likes of Barry Jarman and Darren Lehmann had stop-start careers post their Test debuts in India.
The list also features five one-Test wonders — John Rutherford, Jack Wilson, Rex Sellers, Paul Wilson and Peter George.
Then, there are cases like Jason Krejza, who picked 12 wickets on debut in a losing cause at Nagpur and played only one more Test. Nathan Hauritz had an encouraging debut in 2004 in Mumbai, but had to wait another four years for his next Test. The off-spinner’s Test career ended in India in 2010, something we will focus on in a future article. Cameron White played all his four Tests on tour to India in 2008. Moises Henriques had a good debut in Chennai in 2013, scoring fifties in both innings. However, he struggled in the next two Test and was dropped. Since then, he has played only one more Test and still stands a chance of a comeback. Others like Paul Wilson, Adam Dale and Gavin Robertson couldn’t cement their spots in the side as Australia had a great bowling attack in the late 1990s.
Now, Glenn Maxwell returns to the country of his Test debut, having only played one more game in the whites since his first series. He has a chance to add to his Test caps and would want to turn things around this time.
What is interesting is that there is a pattern to suggest that India has been inauspicious to Australian debutants in the long run. Plus, numerous Australian careers have also ended in India. We shall get to that in the next piece.