11 Indian cricketers who made their Test debuts against Sri Lanka
The wait is almost over as the Men in Blue will take on Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series, which is their first visit to the island nation since August 2015.
The two-day warm-up match between India and the Sri Lankan Board President’s XI at Colombo ended in a draw with India declaring their innings at 312/9 in reply to the home team’s 187 all out.
Over nearly 35 years of India-Sri Lanka Test matches, a number of Indian cricketers have begun their career in the longest format of the sport by facing Sri Lanka. Here are 11 such Indian players.
#11. Naman Ojha
The wicket-keeper batsman from Madhya Pradesh put up some impressive performances in IPL-3 in 2010 as a result of which, he was chosen in a second-string Indian squad to Tour Zimbabwe in a tri-series featuring Sri Lanka and two T20Is. Ojha had a disappointing outing as he scored only 1 run in the solitary ODI that he played against Sri Lanka and scored a total of 12 runs in both T20Is against Zimbabwe combined.
Five years later, Ojha was called up to the Test team as a backup keeper to Wriddhiman Saha for India’s Tour of Sri Lanka. After spending the first two Tests watching the action from the dressing room, the Madhya Pradesh ODI captain got the opportunity to make his debut in the deciding Test at Colombo instead of Saha who sustained a hamstring injury.
Ojha went on to make 21 in his maiden Test innings which was followed by a 35 in the second innings.
He took a total of four catches and a stumping during the match with the catch of skipper Angelo Matthews being his first catch in international cricket. India went on to win the match by 117 runs. Unfortunately for him, however, Ojha would never be recalled into the Indian side.
#10. Abhimanyu Mithun
The Karnataka pacer had a brilliant Ranji season in 2009-10. He was the highest wicket-taker with 47 wickets at an average of 23.23 as Karnataka reached the final before losing to Mumbai by 6 runs. His Ranji performances earned him a call-up to the national team and he made his ODI debut against South Africa on 27th February 2010.
A few months later, Mithun made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Galle where he bowled a spell of 4/105 with Tillakaratne Dilshan being his first wicket in international cricket. He went wicketless in the second innings as Sri Lanka won the match by 10 wickets.
Mithun played the next two Tests as well but took a total of two wickets in all four innings combined although he did score 41 and 46 in the first innings of the second and third Tests. Following this series, Abhimanyu Mithun played only one other Test match against West Indies at Barbados in 2011.