Playing your first game for your country can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Especially in a format like T20 where you have to get going from the outset and don’t have too much time to settle in. So it isn’t surprising that despite over 600 T20Is being played since the format’s inception in 2005 only 15 players have scored a fifty on their T20I debut.
Ajinkya Rahane holds the Indian record for the highest score on T20I debut he only has the joint-tenth highest score on debut in the format. While no batsman has ever scored a century on debut, there have been a few who have come close, much like England’s Dawid Malan.
In the third T20I against South Africa, the southpaw got off to a memorable start and makes it into the top five highest scores by a batsman on T20I debut.
Here are the five highest scores by a batsman on T20I debut:
#5 Junaid Siddique – 71 vs Pakistan
Junaid Siddique may have only played seven T20Is in his career but he had a memorable start in which he scored just under half of the runs that he managed in his entire T20I career. He made his debut in the 2007 World T20 against Pakistan and got his side off to the perfect start. It still wasn’t enough as they lost to Pakistan by four wickets.
The southpaw opened the innings along with Tamim Iqbal and although he lost his partner early, he ensured that his side got a decent platform. Before he got out in the 15th over, not only had Bangladesh recovered to 112/4, he had also scored 71 from just 49 balls, a knock that included six fours and three sixes.
His 49-ball 71 was the main reason behind Bangladesh’s total of 140. Although Pakistan chased it down comfortably, it gave Siddique the perfect start to his T20I career. Unfortunately, he only played six more matches after that and at 29, will be hoping that he gets the opportunity to represent his country again.