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Stats: Most wickets on debut in Tests and ODIs

Who has taken the most wickets on debut? It is said that a promising young bowler should not be taken lightly especially if he has express pace or if he is a mystery spinner. Since the opposition wouldn’t have seen him bowl before, they wouldn’t know what to expect and this is where the bowler can go a step ahead. Here, we will see the list of the top 5 bowling performances on debut in both ODIs and Test cricket.

Here’s the ODI list:

most wickets on debut
Fidel Edwards’s debut was the best ever in ODI cricket
 Player              Overs    Bowling figures    Opposition Year
 Fidel Edwards (WI) 7.0             6/22 Zimbabwe 2003
Tony Dodemaide (AUS) 7.2             5/21 Sri Lanka 1988
Shaul Karnain (SL) 8.0             5/26 New Zealand 1984
Austin Codrington (CAN) 9.0             5/27 Bangladesh 2003
Allan Donald (SA) 8.4             5/29 India 1991

​1. Fidel Edwards (6/22)

He is pacy, he has a beautiful out swinger to the right hander and he can also get reverse swing. Fidel Edwards was an asset. Inconsistent form and injuries have been keeping him in and out of the side. His dream debut came against Zimbabwe when he ripped their batting line up by picking up the first five wickets and then adding one later on. He was promplty named the man of the match.

​2. Tony Dodemaide (5/21)

His ODI and Test debuts were simply a dream. He became the first man to pick up a five wicket haul on ODI debut when he helped Australia beat Sri Lanka by 81 runs. He also had a dream Test debut, but unfortunately his career didn’t really take off from there and ended up playing only 24 ODI’s.

​​3. Shaul Karnain (5/26)

On debut, he first helped his team post a respectable total when they were tottering and then came back and bowled a dream spell to pick up five wickets and helped his team win the game. Subsequently he was awarded the man of the match award. But later on, his bowling became a bit expensive and didn’t play more than 19 matches for Sri Lanka.

4. Austin Codrington (5/27)

World cricket might have forgotten him, but Bangladeshi fans would certainly be remembering who Austin Codrington was. Bangladesh were supposed to pick up a pretty easy win against Canada in the 2003 world cup, but Austin had other ideas. He bowled them out for a paltry 120 by picking up five wickets. But then, he too faded away without impressing much.

​5. Allan Donald (5/29)

Finally someone who went on to become one of the best bowlers ever! The white lightning was too hot to handle for the Indian top order on his debut as he picked up a five wicket haul. He couldn’t prevent his side from losing though as India sneaked home by three wickets. He went on to pick 272 wickets in his glorious career.


Here’s the Test list:

most wickets on debut
Hirwani in action
Player             Overs Match figures Opposition Year
Narendra Hirwani (IND) 33.5 16/136 West Indies 1988
Bob Massie (AUS) 60.1 16/137 England 1972
Fred Martin (ENG) 57.2 12/102 Australia 1890
Jason Krejza (AUS) 74.5 12/358 India 2008
Clarrie Grimmett (AUS) 31.3 11/82 England 1925

​1. Narendra Hirwani (16/136)

Even today, fans speak about Hirwani’s failure to make it big after such a dream debut against the mighty West Indies at Chepauk in 1988. A 19 year old taking 8 wickets in each innings of a Test match sent shocking waves across the cricketing world. In the second innings, he had five batsmen out stumped. Since his overseas performances were not up to the mark and with Kumble’s emergence, Hirwani couldn’t make a grand comeback and played only 17 Tests.

​2. Bob Massi​e (16/137)

Bob misses out on the top spot courtesy of one run. It was the second Ashes Test in 1972 at Lord’s, and this young swing bowler swung the game completely in Australia’s favour with a match haul of 16 wickets. But he too faded away like Hirwani and went on to play only 5 more times for his country. 

3. Fred Martin (12/102)

The late Fred Martin held this record for more than 80 years before Bob and later on Hirwani broke it. He picked up this 12 wicket haul against Australia in the Ashes way back in 1890 and it isn’t known why he played only one more Test in his career because his domestic stats are just phenomenal as he took 1317 wickets with an average of 17.38.

4. Jason Krejza (12/358)

The most recent performance on this list is from the Australian spinner Jason Krejza. Despite picking 12 wickets , Krejza was hit all over the park by the Indian batsmen and conceded the most runs on a Test debut. India eventually won that Test and Krejza played only more Test before getting the axe.

5. Clarrie Grimmett (11/82)

It is said that the late Clarrie Grimmett took only one and a half minutest to complete an over. This leg spinner had a great career for Australia picking up 216 Test wickets in 37 matches. And on his debut, by picking up five wickets in the first innings followed by a six wicket haul in the second, thus helping Australia to win by 307 runs.

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