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Yet another year draws to a close. A lot has happened over the last twelve months in the world of cricket, and it’s time to reflect. From the dizzying highs of back to back Ashes, to the crushing lows of spot-fixing controversies, 2013 has undoubtedly been an action packed year.
However, this year certainly meant more to some youngsters than to the rest of the world. 2013 saw 38 players make their debut in Tests, and 72 in ODIs. Some of them came, saw, and conquered. Meanwhile, others took their time to adjust into the unimaginable stress and unrealistic expectations of international cricket. Nevertheless, irrespective of their performance, one thing is certain – their lives shall never be the same again.
Here are some of the most impressive debutantes of 2013. They are the unpolished jewels of the cricketing world; the unbelievable talents who are likely to have a glittering career ahead of them.
Category of classification
For a player to fall under the category of “emerging”, he must be under the age of 25, and must have made his debut in either Tests or ODIs in the year 2013. Also, if a player has made his Test debut in 2013 and his ODI debut prior to 2013, only his Test statistics are taken into consideration, and vice-versa.
5. Hamish Rutherford
Tests – 10, Runs – 558, Average – 34.87, Centuries – 1, High Score – 171
It’s hard to ignore somebody when they make 171 on their Test debut. It’s harder to ignore them when the opposition was bundled out for 169 in the first innings. And it’s impossible to ignore them when the century is made facing bowlers like Anderson, Broad and Finn in the seaming, chilly conditions of Dunedin. Hamish Rutherford impressed one and all from his very first ball – his confident stance, his solid front foot defence, and his stylish cover drives reminded the world of a certain Stephen Fleming.
But akin to most New Zealand players, Rutherford has already been plagued by issues of inconsistency. Following his blazing century on debut, he managed only one half century and was often guilty of throwing his wicket away due to lapses of concentration. However, he remains to be amongst the best newcomers in 2013, and if he could sort out his technique and sharpen his ability to focus, New Zealand may have filled that massive void in the openers slot.