As a batsman, T-20 is probably the perfect format to make an International debut as the pressure on the bowler is far greater than the other two formats. Despite the obvious advantages possessed by the batsmen in the shortest format, it is still difficult to overcome nerves and play a memorable knock on debut. In this article, we will look at the five highest scores on the T-20 International debut.
Note:- Associate players have not been considered in this article
#5 Oshada Fernando – 78* vs Pakistan, 2019
The Lankans impressed everyone in their 2019 tour to Pakistan as they whitewashed the number one T-20 side comfortably. Having already won the series, Sri Lanka made five changes for the third and final T-20. Oshada Fernando was handed a debut, and he came to the crease with Sri Lanka reeling at 30 for 3.
Fernando did not waste any time at the crease and immediately scored a four and a six off Usman Shinwari. Fernando played classical strokes throughout the knock and registered a 48 ball 78 on a tough wicket.
#4 Dawid Malan – 78 vs South Africa, 2017
Malan is the current top-ranked batsman in the shortest format but in 2017 nobody gave him a chance to start regularly for an England team filled with stalwarts. In the decider of a three-match T-20 series, South Africa won the toss and elected to field first. Roy departed early and Malan came in at number 3 with regular Captain Morgan resting himself.
Malan came out all guns blazing and took on Imran Tahir in phenomenal fashion. He scored five fours and a six off the veteran and took England to a score of 181. England won the game by 19 runs and Malan started on his journey of becoming the best T-20 batsman in the world.
#3 Rilee Rossouw – 78 vs Australia, 2014
In the first T-20 of a three-match series, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. The Aussies posted a total of 144 after two decent knocks from Watson and Faulkner. Reeza Hendricks departed for a duck in the chase and Rossouw joined Quinton de Kock at the crease.
Rossouw targeted Bollinger in the powerplay and scored two fours and a six off him in the fifth over of the chase. After the powerplay, Rossouw showed calmness and composure and his memorable knock on debut guided South Africa to a comfortable victory.
#2 David Warner – 89 vs South Africa, 2009
Warner arrived in his own inimitable style at the MCG in 2009 as he showed his home crowd that he can live up to the legacy of Gilchrist. He showed no respect for a dangerous bowling attack comprising Steyn, Morkel and Ntini. He scored two massive sixes of Ntini in the third over and in the sixth over played an audacious paddle shot against Dale Steyn.
Warner reached his fifty off just 19 balls and was well on his way to a century before Ntini dismissed him in the 14th over.
#1 Ricky Ponting – 98* vs New Zealand, 2005
In the very first T-20 International game, Ponting played a memorable knock on debut and showed that even classic batsmen can survive in the shortest format. After a whirlwind cameo from Symonds, Ponting controlled the innings perfectly and never failed to put away a bad ball.
After settling, Ponting exploded during the death overs and took a particular liking for Daryl Tuffey. Tuffey was hit for four sixes and a four in the penultimate over and Ponting fell just two runs short of a glorious century.