A century or half-century on debut is always special and makes a player popular overnight. However, all the players who have played a memorable knock-on debut do not go on to have a successful career. Similarly, many players who have failed on their debut have achieved considerable success afterwards. In this article, we will look at four popular Indian batsmen who were dismissed for a duck in their T-20I debut.
#4 Prithvi Shaw vs Sri Lanka
Shaw was dismissed for a duck on his T-20 debut against Sri Lanka in July 2021. Shaw is a popular batsman in the IPL and was in destructive form in the ODI series versus Sri Lanka. Hence, a lot was expected from him against a weak Sri Lankan bowling attack.
In the first T-20 match, Chameera came to bowl the first over and Shaw took strike. A nice outswinger caught Shaw on the crease, and he edged it behind to the keeper. The Sri Lankans celebrated, and Shaw joined the infamous list of people who have made a duck in their T-20I debut.
#3 KL Rahul vs Zimbabwe
After an impressive IPL in 2016, KL Rahul was given a chance to open in Zimbabwe. In the first T-20, India won the toss and opted to field first. Zimbabwe scored 170 runs and KL Rahul opened along with Mandeep Singh in the second innings. Rahul took the strike against Tiripano and was dismissed for a duck in his T-20I debut.
Eager to get off the strike in his first game, Rahul tried to guide the ball to the third man. However, an inside edge resulted in the stumps getting castled. Although Rahul did not have a fine start to his career, he redeemed himself soon, and a hundred against West Indies set the tone for things to follow.
#2 Gautam Gambhir vs Pakistan
Many senior players in the Indian team decided to rest before the 2007 T-20 World Cup in South Africa. As a result, many youngsters got a chance to prove themselves, and Gambhir was one among them. India’s first game of the World Cup against Scotland was washed out. In their second game, India faced Pakistan and batted first.
Gambhir opened with Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Asif took the new ball. After two dot balls in the first over, Gambhir came down the track and hit the ball back towards the bowler. Asif snatched the ball from thin air and Gambhir walked back to the pavilion.
The match famously ended in a tie and India won the bowl out. Gambhir got his redemption in the final against Pakistan by scoring a fine half-century and guiding India to a defendable target.
#1 MS Dhoni vs South Africa
MS Dhoni was part of India’s first-ever T-20 International and was dismissed for a duck by Langeveldt. At Wanderers, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. The Proteas only managed a modest total of 126. Chasing 127, India lost Tendulkar early, but Mongia and Sehwag steadied the ship.
Dhoni came to bat at number 4, with India in a dominant position in the game. Dhoni defended the last ball of the 10th over and the scorecard read 65/2. In the first ball of the 12th over, Dhoni tried to play a late cut, but completely missed the mark.
The ball hit the inside half of the bat and clattered onto the stumps. However, India went on to win the game and soon after this, Dhoni captained India to victory in the T-20 World Cup.