Mayank Agarwal recently walked into record books by scoring his second double ton in just his 12th Test innings. Mayank has overtaken Sir Don Bradman (13 innings) in the list of fastest to score two double tons. Mayank averages 71.50 in 8 Tests with 3 tons and 3 fifties – stuff that a cricketer dreams of.
There have been a few such instances when a cricketer has had such a dream start to Test cricket. Cricwizz takes a look at five cricketers who had such great starts to their Test careers.
The left-hander had a dream start to his Test career, notching up two double hundreds and two centuries in his first seven Tests. He holds the record of taking the fewest innings (5) to score two double tons.
But it was all downhill from there. He went on to play 10 more Tests, but couldn’t score another ton. Slowly, he faded out and ended his career with 17 Tests averaging 54.20.
Besides, he was given a raw deal by the-then selectors who felt Kambli was no longer the player he was in the initial phase of his career. The emergence of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly as Test cricketers of the future also brought a premature end to Kambli’s career.
The Australian was a late entrant to Test cricket at 29, but he made an immediate impression and grabbed his opportunity with both hands. He went on to become the fastest batsman to score 1000 Test runs in just 166 days.
After two years, his Test average was 86.18 as the left-hander amassed runs in Tests in all conditions and against all opponents. He ended his Test career with 6235 runs at an average 51.5 in 79 Tests.
Hussey even had a good start to ODIs. At the end of his first year in international cricket, he averaged 101.16 in Tests and ODIs combined.
The Sri Lankan off-spinner tormented India in his first Test series in 2008. He bagged his maiden wicket in Rahul Dravid. He bagged 26 wickets (ave.18.38) in the series, breaking Alec Bedser’s world record for most wickets by a bowler on his debut in a three-match Test series.
He made Indian batsmen struggle with his carrom ball & variations while the Men in Blue were pretty unhappy with DRS system that made its debut in the series.
Mendis could not replicate his form and he was soon sorted out by the opposition. In his next 16 Tests, he managed another 55 wickets only to end with 78 wickets in 19 Tests in his career. He retired in Aug 2019.
Mendis also had a dream debut in limited-overs cricket, becoming the only bowler to have 2 6-wicket hauls in T20Is.
The South African pacer had burst into the international scene with a bang. He reached 50 wickets in just his 7th Test, the second fastest to achieve such a feat. His ability to derive swing even in dried-up surfaces got him wickets in dozens in his first year in international cricket and he became South Africa’s prime weapon.
He made his international debut in the Test series against Australia and had an immediate impact. He took 24 wickets in his debut Test series against Australia at home with four five-wicket hauls. His carried his rich form in subsequent series and reached 50 wickets in just 139 days.
But injuries plagued his career early on and he was never the same bowler since. He also announced his intention to become an all-rounder, giving pundits the reasons to question his ability in pace bowling.
This Indian leg-spinner began his Test career with a bang, bagging 16 wickets in his debut match against the West Indies in 1987-88. However, with the arrival of another leg spinner Anil Kumble, Hirwani was confined to domestic cricket.
He could play no more than 17 Tests, bagging 66 wickets. Perhaps given a long reign, Hirwani could have served Indian cricket longer.