2018: The year of debuts
2018 saw many players making their debuts, few failed to impress but few definitely left a mark. ICC U-19 World Cup took place in the first two months of 2018 and that subsequently had a role in bringing those talented teenagers in the limelight. This year also saw many retirements which meant that there were spots up for grabs.
Jasprit Bumrah can be easily described as the best bowler of 2018. Although everyone knew about him before 2018, he made his test match debut against South Africa earlier this year and there has been no looking back since then. He is already being tagged as the spearhead of India's bowling attack which is a phenomenal achievement for someone so new to the game.
India's Prithvi Shaw too turned heads around with his masterful stroke play against the Windies. A hundred on debut and runs right through the series helped India win the series 2-0 against the Windies. These performances meant that he was an automatic selection for tour Down Under. An unfortunate injury kept him out of the test matches but India would hope he recovers soon and continues the form he has shown in the past.
England's Sam Curran announced his arrival in red ball format with some amazing performances against India. It can be rightly said that England would have never won 4-1 against India without him. Some handy contributions with the bat lower down the order in Sri Lanka helped England win 3-0 against the host. The fact that England are yet to lose a game with him being in the line-up speaks for itself.
Rishabh Pant came to the fore when India were in a desperate need for a wicketkeeper. Saha's injury and Dinesh Kartik's form meant he had to take the responsibility midway through the tour of England. A century in England and important contributions in Australia suggest that he has done justice to his job. Indian Team knows that if he adds a little more consistency to his game, he can become the best keeper-batsman in the world.
South Africa's Lungi Ngidi needed just one Test match to prove what a fine fast bowler he is. Match figures of 7/87 against a strong Indian batting line-up on debut speaks for itself. Later in the year, he impressed everyone with his performances in the IPL and on the tour of Sri Lanka. If he can stay injury-free then he is definitely one for the future.
New Zealand's Ajaz Patel and William Somerville too helped their team in winning a series in UAE.
Shimron Hetmyer from West Indies was another noticeable debutant who smacked a strong Indian bowling line up to all parts when Windies toured India. Performances in this series helped him to get an IPL contract with the RCB.
Apart from these names, the likes of Hanuma Vihari, Krunal Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Marcus Harris, Reeza Hendricks etc. made their debuts.