Many young cricketers have taken to Twenty20 cricket like fish to water. Have you ever wondered who the youngest Indian cricketer to feature in the format had been?
Here is a list of the top 10 youngest Indian T20I debutants in men’s cricket. You’ll be surprised to know that two of these players have played only one 20-over international!
Washington Sundar, 18y 80d, India v Sri Lanka, Mumbai, December 24, 2017
The youngest-ever Indian debutant in men’s Twenty20 cricket, Washington Sundar, in his first match, dismissed the aggressive Kusal Perera cheaply. That was the only wicket the right-arm off-spinner bagged in that match, returning figures of 4-0-22-1. India won the match by five wickets.
Rishabh Pant, 19y 120d, India v England, Bengaluru, February 1, 2017
It was a match where Yuzvendra Chahal spun the visitor out of the contest, claiming six for 25. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who made his debut, played only three balls and stayed unbeaten on five.
Ishant Sharma, 19y 152d, India v Australia, Melbourne, February 1, 2008
Although it was a forgettable debut for the lanky pacer from Delhi, bowling just eight deliveries and conceding as many runs, it was the same series where he troubled the legendary Ricky Ponting at Perth in the third Test, luring him to play false shots multiple times, before claiming his wicket, only minutes before lunch.
Rahul Chahar, 20y 2d, India v West Indies, Providence, August 6, 2019
Deepak Chahar might have stolen the limelight from cousin Rahul in the latter’s only T20I, with three scalps and the Man-of-the-Match award, but the 20-year-old celebrated his first international wicket when Caribbean big-hitter Carlos Brathwaite miscued a pull straight down the throat of the fielder stationed at long-on.
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Suresh Raina, 20y 4d, India v South Africa, Johannesburg, December 1, 2006
When the young Suresh Raina walked out to the middle before the fourth ball of the 18th over, many Indians had already given up hope. India’s recent run of form wasn’t promising either. However, Raina ensured the man in form, Dinesh Karthik, faced most of the deliveries to ease off the pressure. India won the match by six wickets with one ball remaining.
Ravindra Jadeja, 20y 66d, India v Sri Lanka, Colombo, February 10, 2009
One of India’s finest all-rounders, Ravindra Jadeja, didn’t have a dream debut. Getting hit for quite a few runs in the first innings – 29 off his four overs – he failed to shine with the bat, as well. He could only manage five runs off seven balls before Malinga Bandara rattled his furniture with a vicious yorker.
Rohit Sharma, 20y 142d, India v England, Durban, September 19, 2007
For India’s current limited-overs deputy, too, it wasn’t an ideal debut as he neither batted nor bowled. However, the right-handed Hitman from Nagpur didn’t go unnoticed either. Handing India its second wicket, he latched on to Vikram Solanki’s catch at mid-off after the side had squandered quite a few chances in the field, initially.
Sanju Samson, 20y 250d, India v Zimbabwe, Harare, July 19, 2015
The Zimbabweans stunned the Men in Blue by 10 runs, with opener Chamu Chibhabha doing most of the damage (67 off 51 balls). A hard-hitting wicketkeeper from Kerala, Sanju Samson, made his first T20 appearance in national colours in that match. However, he could only score 19 off 24 deliveries.
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Khaleel Ahmed, 20y 334d, India v West Indies, Kolkata, November 4, 2018
India’s never-ending search for quality left-arm speed merchants after Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra brought the selectors to Khaleel Ahmed. The pacer repaid the faith shown in him by dismissing Fabian Allen. He also finished with a maiden over and conceded only 16 runs.
Mayank Markande, 21y 105d, India v Australia, Visakhapatnam, February 24, 2019
Punjab-born Mayank Markande was hit for 31 runs in his first match. The Aussies won the contest by three wickets and Markande never featured in another T20I again.