5 Youngest Test Cricket Debutants- Breaking into international Test cricket is a long and challenging process that requires years of dedication. Many players spend countless hours honing their skills in first-class cricket, hoping to catch the attention of national selectors. However, there are a few exceptional players who possess unique talents and have made their international debuts as teenagers.
In 2019, Naseem Shah became a sensation when he made his Test debut for Pakistan against Australia in Brisbane at just 16 years and 279 days old. Similarly, in June 2018, Mujeeb Ur Rahman made history as the youngest Test player for Afghanistan at the age of 17 years and 78 days when he debuted against India in Bangalore.
5 Youngest Test Cricket Debutants
1. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar devoted 24 years of his life to serving India through cricket, from 1989 to 2013. His incredible career resulted in him being recognized as the greatest batter of the sport, having scored 34357 runs across 664 international games in all formats. Tendulkar still holds the record for the highest number of runs in Test cricket, having scored 15921 runs in 200 matches.
In 1989, during India’s tour of Pakistan for four Tests and four One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Tendulkar made his international debut in the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi. At the age of 16 years and 205 days, he became the youngest player to represent India in cricket’s longest format.
2. Aaqib Javed
In 1989, Aaqib Javed rose to fame for playing Test cricket for Pakistan at the young age of 16 years and 189 days. During Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand, they played three Tests and four ODIs. After the first Test was abandoned, both teams met in Wellington for the second Test.
Aaqib was included in Pakistan’s 11-member squad for the second game to strengthen the pace attack along with Imran Khan and Saleem Jaffar. Unfortunately, Javed failed to make an impact in his debut game and was unable to take any wickets with the ball. The match ended in a draw, and as a result of his poor performance, Pakistan’s captain Imran Khan dropped him from the team for the third Test.
3. Mohammad Sharif
In November of 2000, Bangladesh debuted in Test cricket against India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. Just five months later, during the team’s tour of Zimbabwe, one of their players made history by becoming the third youngest cricketer to play Test cricket.
After losing all three of their ODI matches, Bangladesh faced off against Zimbabwe in the first Test at Bulawayo. Although they were defeated by an innings and 32 runs, Mohammad Sharif, who was only 15 years and 128 days old, became the youngest Test cricketer to represent his country.
4. Mushtaq Mohammad
Mushtaq Mohammad, who led Pakistan from 1976 to 1979, had a remarkable career in Test matches. Over his 20-year career, Mushtaq accomplished a rare feat by scoring a century and taking five wickets in the same Test match twice, making him the only all-rounder to do so. Mushtaq debuted in Tests during the 1959 West Indies tour of Pakistan, at the age of 15 years and 124 days. He played his first international match in Lahore, where he became the youngest player to represent a team in international cricket at the time.
5. Hasan Raza
During Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan in 1996, Hasan Raza made history for his country. After the first Test ended in a draw, Pakistan’s captain, Wasim Akram, made a few changes to his team for the second Test in Faisalabad in order to secure a win. One of these changes was to bring in Hasan Raza, replacing Azam Khan.
At just 14 years and 227 days old, Raza made his debut in the second Test against Zimbabwe, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in a Test cricket match. Pakistan dominated the game and won by 10 wickets, showcasing their superior skills in all aspects of the game.