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Top 10 Cracking Cricketers with Dodgy Debuts

Simon Kerrigan had something of a nightmare start to his England test career on Wednesday as Shane Watson took something of a liking to his left arm spin. However, all is not lost for the Lancastrian as look at some of the greatest players of all time on the cricket field that had an inauspicious start to their test careers.

10. Mushtaq Ahmed

Mushie became something of a great in Pakistani cricket and in English County Championship cricket for his fabulous slow bowling, but it wasn’t that impressive on debut against Australia in Adelaide in 1990. He scored for runs in his two innings and took just one wicket in 48 overs, this was Mark Taylor but even so it was a meagre return.

9. Michael Atherton

This one is a little harsh as Athers managed to turn his debut for England around but it certainly got off to a poor start. After Australia made 602-6 at Trent Bridge in 1989 Atherton came in at three when England were 1-1. The youngster stayed for just two balls and made no runs leaving his side in serious trouble. The Lancashire man went on to make 47 in the second innings but the Aussies still won by an innings and 180 runs.

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8. Shane Warne

Certainly the greatest leg spinner of all time, probably the greatest bowler of all time and arguably the greatest cricketer of all time but it didn’t start well for Warne in test cricket. The King of Spin played in the third test against India at the SCG in 1992 and recorded figures of 45-7-150-1, not something he did very often again afterwards.

7. Jacques Kallis

One of the modern-day greats of the game and some argue the greatest all-rounder of all time had a very quiet debut against England in Durban back in 1995. He came in at six and scored one then was not entrusted with the ball as the game petered out to a draw. There was little to suggest what was going to happen over the next 18 years.

6. Steve Waugh

Arguably the greatest Australia captain ever and certainly one of their best batsmen with 32 test hundreds and an average of 51.06 but he looked a little rocky on debut. It was not quite as disastrous as some on this list but scores of 13 and 5 against India in Melbourne hardly set the public’s imaginations alight.

5. Michael Holding

Whispering Death went on to take 249 test wickets for West Indies but his first match in that arena yielded none at all. Holding opened the bowling at the Gabba against Australia in 1975 bowling 30 overs with no reward and his team lost by 8 wickets.

4. Len Hutton

Sir Leonard Hutton is one of the great names of not only English but world cricket, finishing up with a test average of 56.67 from 79 matches. However, his average was just 0.5 after his first match in 1937 during which he scored 0 and 1.

3. Marvan Atapattu

The Sri Lankan batsman went on to play 90 tests for his country with a stunning high score of 249 but few would have expected that after he made his debut against India in Chandigarh in 1990. Marvan batted twice but did not manage to score in either innings as his side lost by an innings and eight runs.

2. Saeed Anwar

One of the great batsmen of the 1990s Anwar played with some great players over his 55 test match career but he did not make a great start. He opened the batting against West Indies in Faisalabad in 1990, faced eight balls over two innings and scored no runs. In his defence his two conquerors were Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop so it wasn’t the most embarrassing demise.

1. Graham Gooch

Considering he went on to become England’s highest ever test run scorer you would expect the Essex man to have got off to a flyer but that could not be further from the truth. He bagged a pair against Australia in 1975 and certainly did not look cut out for test cricket.



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