Tony Bishop looks at 12 players who opened their test accounts with a six.
Rishab Pant young Indian tyro showed his class recently against the Aussies
Often, a batsman making their debut in test cricket will look to get their eye in, nudge ones and twos to get the feet moving and put that all important first run on the board.
The Universe Boss himself, Chris Gayle famously thumped Bangladesh debutant Sohag Gazi, for 6 off the first ball of a test match. But who have opened their test accounts with a maximum?
Surprisingly, perhaps, twelve players have cleared the rope to register the first runs of their test career. The number who went on to have, or still have long and successful careers is somewhat low. Here they all are:
12. Wreckless Eric
The first cricketer to open his account with a six is Eric Freeman. In 1968 the batting all-rounder made his debut for Australia at Brisbane in against India. Off the second ball he faced, he smoked one delivery out of the ground off the great Erapalli Prasanna.
Alas, the all-rounder could not achieve much success at the international level as he represented Australia in only 11 Tests, averaging 19.16 with the bat and 33.17 with the ball.
Apart from representing Australia and mentoring the aspiring cricketers, Freeman worked as a commentator and was statistician with ABC radio in Adelaide. His Adelaide six is now a statistic etched into cricket history.
11. Mind the Windows Carlisle
Tino’s Great Uncle, Carlisle Best was second player to smash a six to open his account in Test cricket. The West Indian made his debut in 1986 at Jamaica against England. His first two deliveries were bouncers from Ian Botham. This pumped him up and as a result, he hit the third ball off Ian Botham for a six.
Carlisle went on to play 8 Tests for the West Indies team and scored a century against England in Barbados in 1990.
10. Keith Dabengwa
Keith Dabengwa made it to the history books as he opened up his account in Test cricket after hitting the very first ball for a six. Also, he is the only Zimbabwean to feature in this list and played. It was the only Test in Bulawayo and Keith managed to score 17 runs in the first inning and 4 in the second. However, New Zealand thrashed Zimbabwe by an innings and 46 runs.
Keith only played the other two were against India and he never did enough to extend his test career. He did playefor Lymington Cricket Club for the 2006 season and signed for Scottish side Ferguslie in 2013 season and went on to play in Scotland.
9. Dale Richards (no relation to Viv)
His debut at St. Vincent against Bangladesh was made in unusual circumstances as the West Indies went on a protest regarding payment issues. He smashed a six off the fourth ball off the Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (dodgy knees and all). Becoming the second batsman from West Indies to hit a six as his first scoring runs in international cricket.
Unfortunately, Dale’s international career did not flourish. He represented the West Indies for two more games.
8. Shafiul Islam
The first Bangladeshi to hit a six as his first runs in Test cricket. He smashed the seventh ball he faced, for a maximum. The match was played against India in 2010. The bowler at the receiving end was Amit Mishra. Shafiul’s international career has witnessed many ups and downs, but he has played 11 tests and 60 ODIs for Bangladesh.
7. Swann Upping with Jahural
Jahural Islam had a horrible test debut as he was out trapped leg-before to Graeme Swann in his first outing. However, in the second innings, he scored 43 runs and his first runs in Test cricket was a six off the same Graeme Swann. This made him the second Bangladeshi to hit a six off the first ball.
6. Al-Amin Hossain
There seems to be a Bangladeshi theme here. Hossain failed to score on his Test debut against the Kiwis at Dhaka in 2013. However, he opened his account in Test Cricket by hitting the Sri Lankan great Rangana Herath for a six in 2014. He acquired a bit of a bad by reputation off the field did Al – Amin and was sent home from the 2015 World Cup for breaking team curfew. Another case of what might have been.
Mark Craig an off spinning smasher
5. Craig’s (short) list
Kiwi Mark Craig is the only batsman to hit a six of the first ball he faced. He achieved this against the tall Suleiman Benn at Kingston in 2014. Craig is a right-arm off-break bowler, who was picked up as the backup option for Ish Sodhi during that tour. His debut was a Man of the Match performance, including 8 wickets.
In 15 tests across three years, Mark averaged 37 and took 50 wickets, but the high flying Kiwis are tough and he has not featured since 2016.
4. Dhananjaya de Silva
Dhananjaya hit a six off the fifth ball he faced on debut against Australia in 2016. This was a strong statement as he performed exceptionally well in that series That year became the joint fastest Sri Lankan to get to 1000 Test runs in merely 23 innings – something which helped him become the SLC Player of the Year in 2017. He was much missed by Sri Lanka in the recent series against England, having retired hurt for a gallant 79* at Supersport Park versus South Africa.
3. Kamrul Islam Rabi
Yet another early big bang from Bangladesh. Although against England in 2016 he had started off with 3 ducks before he smoked a six to open his account in test cricket. It was only his 20th ball he faced that he smashed Moeen Ali for six to score his first test runs. He has played seven test so far, but the last of those was in 2018.
2. Sunil Ambris
Unfortunately, he has the distinction of being the first cricketer to be out hit-wicket on the first ball he faced in Test cricket. To general dismay, he was again dismissed by a hit wicket in his third innings, thus becoming the first batsman in the history of Test cricket to be hit wicket twice in his first two Tests.
However, his other distinction gets him into our list. He smashed Trent Boult for a six to open his account in Test cricket and then got smashed on the arm. Perhaps not surprisingly, his One Day career has shone brighter than his test career.
This brings us nicely up to date ahead of the India vs England series. He is the only Indian to feature in this list. As he made his debut against England at Trent Bridge, he smashed the second ball he faced in Test cricket off Adil Rashid over the boundary. And he hasn’t done too bad since has he, including that 89* in Brisbane. He hit a six in that too.
With thanks to CricTracker and Kumar Tatwamasi