How many players have debuted as teenagers and gone on to play 100 Tests or more?

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20 Jul 2020 | 10:32 AM
authorMohandas Menon

How many players have debuted as teenagers and gone on to play 100 Tests or more?

In this series, your cricket-related queries will be answered by our expert statistician

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How many teenage cricketers have ended up playing in only one Test match during their career and how many have managed over 100 Tests? How many made debut after 40 and appeared in just one Test match? – Sahil Joshi on Twitter

As many as 216 players have appeared in Test cricket below the age of 20 years, i.e. as teenagers. Of these only ten have managed to appear in over 100 Test matches. The list below has the details:

Note: Ishant Sharma was 18y-265d when he made his Test debut in 2007. He has so far appeared in 97 Test matches and needs just three more Tests to join the above group.

At the other end of the scale, as many as 24 players have made their debut as a teenager but ended up playing that Test match as the only one of their respective careers. However, it should be noted that this tally includes five current players (4 from Afghanistan and one from Pakistan), who may or may not appear in another Test match. For the record, the three teenage players from India who appeared in just one Test match are HT ‘Bal’ Dani (19y-173d) in November 1952, Apoorva Kumar Sengupta (19y-171d) in January 1959 and Jaydev Unadkat (19y-59d) in December 2010. The first two players were with the Indian Air Force Services hence nation duty perhaps took precedence over their cricketing career. The last-named is still only 28 years, therefore could appear again in a Test match for India. 

The youngest player from this list is Pakistani Khalid Hassan who made his Test debut against England at Nottingham on 1 July 1954 at the age of 16 years, 352 days and ended his career four days later at 16 years, 356 days, nine days short of his 17th birthday. The first teenage player to end his Test career with just a solo appearance was Australian John Cottam (19y-173d) at Sydney in Feb-Mar 1887. He made just 1 and 3 in his only Test match!

To answer the second part of your question, 13 players have made their respective debut in Test cricket after the age of 40 years. This list includes two Indians Rustomji Jamshedji (41y-27d) in one Test in December 1933 and Cota Ramaswami (40y-37d) in 2 Tests from June-Aug 1936. 

However, only five players have appeared in just one Test match after making their debut after 40 years. The list is given below:

Notes: 

** Among the 13 players who made debut after 40, Australian Bert Ironmonger appeared in most Tests – 14 - from Nov 1928 to Feb 1933. He finished with an excellent Test career by capturing 74 wickets at 17.97, with four five-wicket hauls and two ten-wicket match hauls – not bad when you consider that he was almost 47 years when he made his debut and was nearly 51 when he played his last!

** Betancourt captained in the side in his only Test match!

With reference to your reply to the earlier query (13 July) as to how many Test matches have resulted in a draw where scores were level at the end of the match. Could you please enlighten as how many such matches have occurred in the Ranji Trophy? - S Venkatraman on Facebook

No such occurrence in Ranji Trophy. However, two first-class matches played in India had similar results. The first match was between the Services XI and the touring MCC (England) at the National Defence Academy Ground in Dehradun on 30 October 1951. The next one came at the LB Shastri Stadium, Fateh Maidan in Hyderabad on 28 November 1967 in the annual Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup tournament. The details of the matches are given hereunder:

How many double centuries and triple centuries were made against India before any Indian could make one in Tests? – Srinath Jayshankar on Twitter

The first Indian to hit a Test double century was Polly Umrigar who made 223 against New Zealand at Hyderabad in November 1955.  Before that, five double centuries were hit against India by the following opponent batsmen.

Note: the overall tally as on today is: for India: 55, by opponents: 51

The first Indian to hit a Test triple century was Virender Sehwag who made 309 against Pakistan at Multan in March 2004.  Before that, two triple centuries were hit against India by the following opponent batsmen.

Note: the overall tally as on today is: for India: 3, by opponents: 4

All records mentioned above are updated as on 19 July 2020 

If you have any cricket-related questions, then ask them using the #AskMohan and #StatsBurst hashtags on our social media channels. Reputed statistician, Mohandas Menon will be answering the selected questions.

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