For any aspiring cricketer in Australia, the pinnacle of all dreams remains the fabled Baggy Green. All those years of hard work and yearnings of hope would be answered upon receiving the first Test cap.
Amidst nerves and an inherent desire to prove a sense of belonging, the maiden introduction to the game’s traditional and toughest format can never be easy. The even more difficult part lies in enduring a poor debut and still going on to reach great heights.
Here are five of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers who overcame tumultuous Test debuts and forged remarkable careers. The players are arranged in chronological order of their appearances.
#5 Sir Donald Bradman
Unarguably, the greatest batsman to ever walk on earth, even Sir Donald Bradman did not exactly have a debut to remember. Up against a seasoned and skillful England bowling attack, the then 20-year old right-hander tallied a combined 19 runs from both innings with the versatile Maurice Tate dismissing him for the first time.
After being dropped for the next Test, Bradman gave an indication of things to come by scoring 79 and 112 in the third Test in Melbourne. 20 years later, he left the game with an imposing record which to date remains the most unbelievable of them all.
Performance on Debut – 18 (40) & 1 (5) against England at Exhibition Ground in Brisbane (1928)
Overall Test Career – 6996 runs from 52 matches at an average of 99.94 with 29 centuries and 13 fifties