Top 5 fastest fifties on Test debut for India ft. Sarfaraz Khan 

Sarfaraz Khan and Shikhar Dhawan are part of this list
Sarfaraz Khan and Shikhar Dhawan are part of this list.

Stepping onto the Test arena for the first time is a daunting task for any cricketer. The pressure is immense, the scrutiny intense.

Yet, some individuals rise above the occasion, not just making their mark but etching their names onto the prestigious record books with blazing knocks. One such case in point was Sarfaraz Khan's debut innings against England in the third Test in Rajkot.

Coming in to bat at No. 6, Sarfaraz blasted 62 runs off only 66 balls, smashing the joint-second-fastest half-century by an Indian player on Test debut in the process. His innings unfortunately ended abruptly after a run-out in the 82nd over of Day 1.

While Sarfaraz agonizingly missed out on a big score on his debut, he certainly forced the world to take notice of him. On that note, here are the top five fastest fifties on Test debut for India.

#5 Prithvi Shaw - 56 balls vs West Indies, 2018

While a 56-ball fifty is no mean feat, it's the context and impact of Shaw's knock that elevates it. At just 18 years and 329 days old, he became the youngest Indian and fourth-youngest overall to score a century on Test debut.

Interestingly, this innings also came in Rajkot, which hosted the first Test of the series between India and the West Indies in 2018. Opening the innings for the first time in Tests, Shaw hammered 134 off just 154, featuring 19 fours, showcasing his attacking flair while mixing it with good shot selection.

He formed a crucial 206-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, providing solidity and setting the stage for India's biggest Test win by an innings and 272 runs.

#4 Shikhar Dhawan - 50 balls vs Australia, 2013

Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan after forging a 200+ run partnership
Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan after forging a 200+ run partnership

Shikhar Dhawan's Test debut against Australia in 2013 was a spectacle etched into the minds of cricket fans forever.

The southpaw accumulated 187 runs in his maiden Test innings and completely put the Aussie bowling attack under pressure.

Arriving on the big stage with flair and style, 'Gabbar' reached his half-century at run-a-ball. His hundred, scored off 85 balls, was the fastest century by a Test debutant at the time, breaking Gundappa Viswanath's 44-year-old record. This feat showcased his immense talent and ability to score quickly against quality bowling.

The star batter smoked 33 boundaries and two sixes en route to his innings and was adjudged the Player of the Match.

#3 Hardik Pandya - 48 balls vs Sri Lanka, 2017

Hardik Pandya's Test debut innings against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2017 was an authoritative knock. Coming in at number eight with the score reading 491/6, India were looking to add quick runs to bolster their total. Pandya, the young all-rounder known for his aggressive batting, did not disappoint.

He dispatched deliveries to the ropes with disdain, showcasing his fearless strokeplay. Despite losing wickets around him, Pandya remained unfazed, reaching his fifty in just 48 balls, the second-fastest by an Indian on Test debut at the time.

His knock propelled India to pile up 600 on the board. The visitors eventually won the game by 304 runs.

#2 Sarfaraz Khan - 48 balls vs England, 2024

India v England - 3rd Test Match: Day One
India v England - 3rd Test Match: Day One

The latest entrant on the list, Sarfaraz Khan, played a sumptuous innings on his long-awaited Test debut. After India dropped Shreyas Iyer from the squad and KL Rahul was sidelined due to an injury, Sarfaraz was handed his debut cap by Anil Kumble on Thursday.

The 26-year-old had to wait for more than two sessions for his chance to come. As Rohit Sharma got out after a heroic 131, Sarfaraz entered the crease and looked at ease from the outset.

He played almost all the balls on their merit, looking like a well-oiled machine rather than a rookie who is facing an international side for the very first time. The right-hander upped the ante a bit and hurried India to the 300-run mark in no time.

Sarfaraz hammered nine boundaries and a solitary maximum, reaching his maiden fifty in 48 balls. Unfortunately for the youngster, he fell prey to a direct hit by Mark Wood after a miscommunication with Ravindra Jadeja.

Despite looking well set to commence his Test career with a three-digit score, Sarfaraz had to sacrifice his wicket and was dismissed for 62 off 66.

#1 Yuvraj of Patiala - 42 balls vs England, 1934

The record for smashing the fastest fifty on Test debut for India is held by a unique player in Yuvraj of Patiala. The former Indian batter recorded his fifty in just 42 balls in his maiden Test, which was also his only official Test match.

The encounter was against England in 1934 in Chennai. After batting first, England set a huge target of 452 runs for India in the fourth innings. Yuvraj of Patiala, or Yadavenadrasingh, came to bat at number seven when India were falling flat at 125/5.

The right-hander played a counter-attacking knock, smashing his half-century in only 42 balls before getting out on 60. Following his dismissal, England wrapped up India's innings and won the clash by 202 runs.

Yuvraj belonged to the royal family of Patiala and was known for his flamboyant lifestyle. He served as India's ambassador to Holland from 1971 until his death in 1974.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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