Rating the top 5 Test debutants of 2016
With 2016 coming to an end, a lot of exciting cricketing action will be expected by all in 2017. This year witnessed a number of exciting matches, broken records, and breakthroughs. Players like Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, and Quinton De Kock were in the form of their lives and a few players also saw their stock decline.
A number of young prospects entered the international arena this year and some of them showed a lot of potential through their brilliant performances with bat and ball. So without any further ado, here’s a rating of five of the best Test debutants this year.
#5 Keaton Jennings, England - 7/10
Many people may not know this fact but Keaton Jennings is actually the son of former South African cricket team coach Ray Jennings which makes him another one of the many English cricketers to be born in South Africa. Jennings had a brilliant season with Durham, amassing over 1500 runs with the bat and was named County Cricketer of the Year.
As a result of his consistent county performances, the youngster was called up to the Test team for the final two Tests of the India Tour as a replacement for Haseeb Hameed who had injured himself during the third Test at Mohali.
He made his Test debut in the fourth Test at Mumbai and scored a brilliant knock of 112 off 219 deliveries in the first innings which made him the 19th English cricketer, 8th England opener, and 101st cricketer to score a century on his Test debut. His 112 was also the highest score by any Test opener who made his debut against India, thus bettering Gordon Greenidge’s 107 at Bangalore in 1974. His knock comprised thirteen boundaries.
However, he was dismissed for a golden duck in the second innings as England went on to lose the Test match by an innings and 36 runs. He also played in the final Test of the series and was dismissed for only 1 before compensating for it with a calm 54 from 121 deliveries in the second innings. England went on to lose the match by an innings and 75 runs.
Keaton Jennings has played only four innings thus far but he has proved on a few occasions that he can dig deep and grind it out and given the fact that Alastair Cook’s place in the Test team is in jeopardy, Jennings could be an ideal replacement once the skipper hangs his boots.