5 Australian cricketers with the highest score on a Test debut

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A team that has given the game many legends

Australia are the most successful side in Test cricket history with 383 wins from 809 matches and the team from Down Under has produced many world-class players over the years whose greatness has stood the test of time.

Sir Donald Bradman is undoubtedly the greatest of them all and though he possessed a mind-blowing average of 99.94 with the bat, scoring 29 centuries from just 52 Tests, the legendary batsman had a debut to forget scoring just 19 runs from two innings as Australia lost to England by a record margin of 675 runs.

He did make amends by scoring a century in his second Test match and where Bradman failed, 20 Australian players have succeeded, scoring a century on their Test debut.

Let's have a look at the five Australian players who have registered the highest score on their Test debut.

#5 Michael Clarke- 151 vs India at Bangalore, 2004

Michael Clarke Debut Test Century Australia Cricket
Clarke was phenomenal in his debut tour, proving instrumental in Australia's historic success against India

Nicknamed "Pup", the former Australian skipper Michael Clarke had to wait nearly two years to make his ODI debut to have a crack at the Test arena and he made it one to remember with a majestic knock of 151 against India at Bangalore in the opening Test of the 4-match series.

Clarke's innings, which earned him the Man-of-the-Match award, helped Australia to a 217-run victory and he continued his spectacular start to his Test career with innings of 91 and 73 in the Nagpur Test as the visitors won by 342 runs.

Though he failed with the bat in the final Test at Mumbai, he made amends with a 6-wicket haul with his orthodox left-arm bowling and though Australia lost the match, victories at Bangalore and Nagpur meant that Australia had won their first Test series in India after more than thirty years and Clarke proved to be an instrumental part of that success.

Clarke also scored a century on his home Test debut against New Zealand at Brisbane, becoming one of the few batsmen in international cricket to achieve that feat.

Clarke went on to serve Australia with distinction in all three formats of the game with the highlight being guiding the side to ODI World Cup success in 2015 as skipper.

With 8643 runs from 115 Tests, Clarke stands fourth in the list of leading run-scorers for Australia in the longest format of the game behind the likes of Ricky Ponting, Allan Border and Steve Waugh.

#4 Doug Walters- 155 vs England at Brisbane, 1965

Doug Walters Australia Cricket
Walters scored a century each in his first two Tests for Australia

The first player in Test cricket history to score a century and a double century in a single Test, Doug Walters had a brilliant start to his Test career, earning a reputation as "another Bradman" in his early years.

Considered quite a character both on and off the field, Walters' became a fan-favourite with his aggressive approach and ability to produce moments of magic with the bat as well as his occasional medium pacers.

Walters made his Test debut at the Gabba against England in the 1965-66 Ashes series, scoring 155 in his first Test innings and following it up with a knock of 115 in the second Test.

Walters carried forward with his fine start and would go on to play 74 Tests for Australia, scoring 5357 runs at an average of 48.26.

#3 Wayne Phillips- 159 vs Pakistan at Perth, 1983

Wayne Phillips Australia Cricket
Phillips could not carry forward his fine start, scoring only one century in 26 Tests since his debut

Wicketkeeper-batsman Wayne Phillips made a spectacular start to his international career, scoring 159 at the WACA, Perth against the visiting Pakistan side in November 1983.

His knock, along with Graham Yallop's 141, helped the hosts win the match by an innings and 9 runs, but Phillips' career didn't quite end up the way he would have liked it.

While he wanted to concentrate solely on his batting, Australia's requirements at the time meant that Phillips also had to attend to wicketkeeping duties- something he was not comfortable with and it seemed that it affected his game with the bat as well.

He managed to add only one more century in his next 26 Tests, playing his last Test in 1986. He also represented Australia in 48 ODIs.

#2 Kepler Wessels- 162 vs England at Brisbane, 1982

Kepler Wessels Australia Cricket
Kepler Wessels played international cricket for both Australia and South Africa

The first man to play ODI cricket for two different international teams- Australia and South Africa- Kepler Wessels moved to Australia due to the ban enforced by the ICC on South Africa due to apartheid, joining hands with Kerry Packer's World Cricket Series.

By virtue of his appearances for Queensland, Wessels qualified for representing Australia officially and was selected for the second Test of the 1982/83 Ashes series against England at Brisbane where he scored a majestic 162 to guide his adopted country to a seven-wicket win that helped the hosts take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Wessels carried on with his Man-of-the-Match winning performance in his debut Test throughout the series, finishing with 386 runs at an average of 48.25.

Wessels played 40 Tests and 109 ODIs in total for both Australia and his native South Africa combined, including captaining the latter in their first World Cup in 1992.

#1 Archie Jackson- 164 vs England at Adelaide, 1929

Archie Jackson Australia Cricket
Archie Jackson had a very short-lived career playing only 8 Tests before his death at the age of just 23

Considered by many as a batsman at par with the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, Archie Jackson's story is one that could have been if not for an untimely death at the age of just 23.

Jackson was only 19 when he made his Test debut against England at Adelaide in 1929 but defied his young age to become the then-youngest Test centurion with his elegant knock of 164.

The match turned out to be a thriller with the visitors winning by a slender margin of 12 runs but it was Jackson who won over the spectators with his strokeplay and panache on the field.

However, he was always dogged by illness and poor health and paid dearly for his refusal to seek timely medical help as he died of tuberculosis aged just 23.

Edited by Kishan Prasad


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