Outside international cricket, IPL is the grandest platform for any player in the world to showcase his talent. Every player awaits the day of his IPL debut. The auction is the first phase for every cricketer. Once he gets a contract at the auction, he joins the IPL squad. Soon, if he is talented enough, he gets a place in the playing XI.
Almost every player in the world would have been nervous on his IPL debut. The league has massive viewership. Also, thousands of fans attended the matches live in the pre-COVID times. Hence, performing well on IPL debut is a tough task. However, in this article, we will look at top five highest score by batsmen on their IPL debut.
5. James Hopes
James Hopes is a former Australian all-rounder. He once captained the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Hopes was a part of the Punjab Kings in his first IPL season. The Aussie player got a chance to open the innings versus Chennai Super Kings in 2008. It was just the second match in IPL history.
CSK had posted 240 runs in the first innings. Chasing 241, Hopes provided a strong start to Punjab. He blasted a 33-ball 71 against CSK. His knock included ten fours and three sixes. Unfortunately, Punjab lost that match by 33 runs.
4. Graeme Smith
Another batsman who scored 71 runs on his IPL debut is the former South African captain Graeme Smith. The left-handed batsman was an opener. He played for Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors in his career. RR was the first team to sign Smith. He earned his maiden IPL cap against the Deccan Chargers.
Andrew Symonds scored a hundred for the Chargers in the first innings. His 117-run knock took Deccan to 214/5 in 20 overs. Chasing 215, Smith and Yusuf Pathan had a solid partnership for RR. Smith contributed 71 runs from 45 runs, while Yusuf scored 61. Eventually, RR won by three wickets.
3. Shaun Marsh
Australian batsman Shaun Marsh was the first to win the IPL Orange Cap. He was not a well-known player then. Still, the Punjab Kings gave him enough opportunities to prove his talent. He made his IPL debut against the Deccan Chargers. That match took place in Hyderabad. The home side batted first and scored 164/8 in 20 overs.
Requiring 165 runs to win, Punjab got off to an excellent start. Shaun Marsh opened the innings on debut. He held one end and amassed 84 runs. In his 62-ball knock, Marsh hit 11 fours and one six. He remained unbeaten till the end and guided his team to victory.
2. Michael Hussey – The only Aussie to score century on IPL debut
James Hopes made his IPL debut in the same match as Michael Hussey. Both Australian players had a memorable day with the willow. While Hopes scored 71 runs, Hussey smacked a hundred. Hussey came out bat at number three for the Chennai Super Kings. He played an attacking game and batted at a strike rate of 214.81.
Hussey smashed eight fours and nine sixes in his fantastic knock. He took only 54 deliveries to score 116 runs. He remained not out till the end as CSK posted 240 runs on the scoreboard. The match ended in CSK’s favor. Hussey won the Man of the Match award on IPL debut.
1. Brendon McCullum has the highest score on IPL debut
Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum played a once in a lifetime knock in the IPL opener. He donned the Kolkata Knight Riders jersey against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Opening the innings for KKR, McCullum played aggressive cricket. He aggregated 158 runs from 73 balls. His knock featured 10 fours and 13 sixes.
McCullum’s performance lit up the IPL. His inning guided KKR to a comfortable victory in the first-ever IPL match. No other batsman has been able to match McCullum’s performance on IPL debut. Looking at the recent performances of debutants, it seems highly unlikely McCullum’s record will ever be broken. The Kiwi player is now the head coach of KKR.