T20 cricket has become one of the most-followed formats of the game in 2020. Earlier, Tests and ODI cricket were the only formats in which the teams competed at the international level. The 2007 T20 World Cup proved to be a game-changer for this new form, and after that, the BCCI introduced the Indian Premier League in 2008.
Many big names first neglected this format. But after understanding the revenue-generating potential, everyone had to embrace T20 cricket. The players tend to play risky shots in T20, and also, when they are young, they prefer going all out against the bowlers. Some talents begin on a slow note and finish big in their career. On the contrary, there are also a few players who impressed in the first game, but that first performance proved to be their most significant contribution.
This listicle will look at those five well-known players who registered their highest T20I score in their first game only.
5. Ricky Ponting
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting led Australia in the first T20I match of cricket history. Playing against New Zealand, Ponting smacked 98 runs off 55 deliveries in Auckland.
The right-handed batsman was just two runs short of becoming the first centurion in T20 internationals. Unfortunately, he ended the innings, not out on 98. The Aussies won the game by 44 runs in Auckland. Ponting played 15 T20I innings after his debut, but he could not beat his highest score of 98.
4. Joe Root
England’s Test team captain, Joe Root, lost his place in the T20I team because of his inconsistency in the T20s. Root earned his maiden T20I cap back in 2013 against Australia.
The right-handed batsman impressed everyone on his debut with a 49-ball 90. Unfortunately, England fell short by 39 runs in that match against Australia. Aaron Finch had won the Man of the Match award for his great inning of 156 runs.
3. Ajinkya Rahane
Indian Test team’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was one of the best all-format batsmen in India during 2011-12. After a fantastic IPL, Rahane broke into the T20I squad in August 2011.
The Delhi Capitals star made his debut versus England at Old Trafford. Although the conditions favored the fast bowlers, Rahane top-scored for the visitors with a 39-ball 61. England won that game by six wickets eventually.
2. Robin Uthappa
Another Indian batsman to appear on this list is Robin Uthappa. The former Royal Challengers Bangalore wicket-keeper batsman played his first T20I against Pakistan during the 2007 T20 World Cup.
Uthappa came out to bat at number three and scored a 39-ball 50. Although he received many opportunities to play for India in T20Is later, the right-handed batsman could not beat the score he registered on his T20I debut.
1. Scott Styris
In the same match where Ricky Ponting scored 98 runs for Australia, all-rounder Scott Styris hit a half-century for hosts New Zealand. The right-handed batsman aggregated 66 runs from 39 balls.
Styris played quite a few T20 international matches for the Blackcaps. However, his highest score remained 66 only after he retired from all forms of cricket. Thus, these are the five well-known stars who played their best T20I inning on debut.