It is the dream of every debutant bowler to scalp a five-wicket haul in his first Test series. Sending five opposition batsmen back to the pavilion in an innings means the player managed to make an immediate impact upon his arrival on the international scene. Such a performance is likely to boost his confidence and cement his place in the Test team.
Many bowlers have taken a five-wicket haul for the Indian cricket team in Tests. However, not everyone could achieve the feat in his debut series, that too in overseas conditions.
South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia (SENA) are the four nations where the Indian cricket team don't have an excellent Test record. However, here are the seven Indian bowlers who took a five-wicket haul in their debut series in the SENA countries.
#7 Mohammed Siraj against Australia
Mohammed Siraj became the latest name to join the list, following his exploits in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The right-arm fast bowler received his maiden Test cap in the 2020 Boxing Day Test match against Australia at the MCG.
Siraj impressed one and all after picking up five wickets in his first Test. In the second game at the SCG, he dismissed two Aussie batsmen in two innings. Injuries to several Indian pacers meant Siraj started as the most experienced bowler for the visitors in the final Test.
The 26-year-old led India's pace bowling attack from the front and managed a five-wicket haul in the second innings at the Gabba. He sent Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood to the dressing room to complete his maiden five-for in Test cricket. Siraj's five-wicket haul helped India record a famous win in Brisbane.
#6 Jasprit Bumrah against South Africa
Jasprit Bumrah showed signs of greatness in his first few limited overs games. Since the pacer had an excellent record in first-class cricket, he was included in the Indian Test squad for the vital South African tour in 2017-18.
Team India performed well in South Africa but could not win the series. But Bumrah, who troubled the Proteas batsmen a lot, took a total of seven wickets in his first two Tests.
In the final Test of the series at the Wanderers, the right-arm pacer picked up the wickets of Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Lungi Ngidi to complete his maiden five-wicket haul in the longest format of the game. His five-for set up a memorable win for the visitors.
#5 Ravi Shastri against New Zealand
Ravi Shastri, the current coach of the Indian cricket team, was a right-handed batsman who bowled left-arm spin. He made his Test debut for India during their tour of New Zealand in 1981.
Shastri was quite impressive with the ball in his first Test as he picked up three wickets each in both innings at the Basin Reserve. He scalped a couple of wickets in the second match at the AMI Stadium before registering his maiden five-for in Tests at Eden Park.
The left-arm spinner returned with figures of 5/125 in the first innings and ended the game with seven wickets to his name. Shastri's impressive display ensured that the Kiwis did not win the match despite taking a first innings lead.
#4 Venkatesh Prasad against England
Venkatesh Prasad was a vital member of the Indian cricket team during his prime. The right-arm fast bowler made his Test debut against England in June 1996.
At Edgbaston, he took four wickets in the first innings. In the next game at Lord's, Prasad registered his first five-wicket haul in Tests, and returned with figures of 5/76 in 33.3 overs. Although India took a first innings lead, the game ended in a draw.
Prasad played 32 more Tests for India, the last of which was against Sri Lanka in 2001.
#3 Syed Abid Ali against Australia
Syed Abid Ali was the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul on Test debut in Australia. He accomplished the feat at the Adelaide Oval in December 1967. Despite playing in home conditions, the Aussies could not tackle Ali's medium-pace.
He came into the attack as the first-change bowler and dismissed six Australian batsmen, giving India the upper hand in the Test match. At one stage, the hosts were 227/2 in the first innings. However, they lost their last eight wickets for 108 runs and folded up for 335.
Unfortunately, India lost the match by 146 runs. Nevertheless, Abid Ali made a name for himself with his six-wicket haul.
#2 Mulvantrai Makand against England
Mulvantrai Makand was one of the top spin bowlers of his era. The left-arm spinner represented India in 44 Tests, scalping 162 wickets. In his 13-year Test career, Makand bowled a whopping 777 maiden overs.
He made his Test debut at Lord's in June 1946 and took a couple of wickets. In his second match at Old Trafford, Makand registered his maiden five-wicket haul.
He led India's spin bowling attack from the front and returned with figures of 5/101 in the first innings. The Test ended in a draw.
#1 Mohammad Nissar against England
Mohammad Nissar was the first Indian bowler to achieve the distinct feat of taking a five-wicket haul during his debut series in a SENA country. Nissar received his maiden Test cap at Lord's in June 1932.
The right-arm fast bowler bowled an impressive spell of 5/93 and recorded his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket. While Nissar played only six Tests for the nation, he remains the only Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul while playing his career's first Test at Lord's.
Nissar played his last Test in 1936. In his brief career, the Indian pacer scalped 25 wickets, including three five-wicket hauls.