ODI Every cricketer braves the odds and puts the hard grind in domestic cricket to see his most cherished dream of making a debut for the country materialize. All the hardships faced, efforts made and the pain taken won’t count as superior when the eventual result falls in the favour. The world of cricket is full of such ground-breaking stories that elate and inspire us to achieve our dreams come to any obstacle or condition. The hard work, passion, and dedication for the game eventually land us at a place we could only imagine but practically couldn’t comprehend.
Having procured the opportunity, some players grabbed it with both their hands and impressed one and all with their stellar performances in the debut game. That meant scoring a fluent and stroke-filled century for a batsman or taking a remarkable fifer for a bowler. Such explicit display goes a long way in helping the player cement his position in the line-up and assuring himself plenty of years performing the national duty.
There are many bowlers who lost their rhythm after performing exceptionally well in their debut fixture and became irrelevant, but here we will be particularly concentrating on the batsmen to face such a scenario. In the below piece, we look at 5 such batsmen who scored a century on their ODI debut and then faded away:
1. Colin Ingram
This powerful southpaw from South Africa made his debut in 2010 against Zimbabwe and scored a century on his debut to announce himself at the big stage. The big score, as usual, helped him feature in the star Proteas line-up for quite some time before he lost his place forever due to his inconsistency and incompetence.
Ingram has slammed 843 runs from 31 ODIs at an average of 32.42 and strike rate of 82.4 while scoring 210 runs from 9 T20Is at an average of 26.25 and strike rate of 129.63.
Frustrated by the lack of confidence from the selectors and thus the opportunities, Ingram signed the Kolpak deal and is doing incredibly well in the T20 leagues around the world as a fierce striker in the middle order.
2. Saleem Elahi
Having opened the innings in his debut game alongside the great Aamir Sohail, Elahi conjured a brilliant 102 to help Pakistan win the crucial encounter against Sri Lanka in 1995.
The captivating show in his maiden stint augmented the hopes and expectations of die-hard Pakistani fans, but unfortunately, Elahi couldn’t live up to it and lost his place in the side after the dismal show at 2003 WC.
The batsman has mustered 1579 runs from 48 ODI games at an average of 36.72 and strike rate of 71.32. To see a player of his calibre and class part ways from the game due to inconsistency is rather difficult to digest, but it is what it is!
3. Rob Nicol
Nicol is the second Kiwi batsman after Guptill to compile a century in his debut innings. The curly-haired batsman achieved the feat in 2011, blasting an impressive 108 against Zimbabwe at their den.
Like the other two batsmen in the list, Nicol’s cricketing career too was ridden with inconsistency, and the rise of talented and current star batsmen, Williamson and Latham made it difficult for him to secure his place and play for a longer duration.
The batsman has garnered 586 runs from 22 ODIs at an average of 30.84 and strike rate of 75.32. While he has struck 327 runs from 21 T20s at an average of 17.21 and strike rate of 110.47.
4. Michael Lumb
Those who follow world cricket closely will know about Lumb as the batsman who opened the innings for England alongside wicketkeeper-batsman, Kieswetter at the 2010 T20 WC and played a major role in them securing their maiden ICC title.
Lumb is predominantly known for his exploits in T20 cricket, but his consistent performances in the England domestic circuit assisted him in making his awaited ODI debut against Windies in 2014. He scored an excellent 106 albeit in a losing cause and justified the faith of the selectors.
Given a complete revamp in the resources, strategies and approach from England post the 2015 WC, Lumb lost his place and could never quite get back in the mix for the England lions.
The Yorkshire man has scored 165 runs from 3 ODIs at an average of 55 and strike rate of 81.28 and contributed 552 runs from 27 T20Is at an average of 21.24 and a good strike rate of 133.66.
5. Abid Ali
With Pakistan batting struggling in recent times to offer any stern resistance either overseas or at ICC tournaments, Abid Ali rose as an impeccable option, who could anchor the innings and garner runs at an appreciable rate.
Making his anticipated ODI debut against former world champions, Australia in 2019, Ali stroked his way to a mesmerizing century scoring 112 at a scintillating strike rate of 94.11, though in a losing cause at the UAE.
The century earned him a spot in Pakistan’s provisional squad for the 2019 WC, but it didn’t pan out the way Ali would have liked, and now sees himself as the preferred opener in the Test format given his sound technique and solid temperament.
Ali has chronicled 234 runs from 6 ODIs at an average of 39 and a strike rate of 93.6. While he has already turned heads in the 6 Tests that he has played, smashing 460 runs at an average of 57.5 and the best score of 174.