The World Cup is one of the grandest stages in the sporting world, and each athlete yearns to leave a mark in his very first game. While some players are unable to impress, some others are able to leave behind an everlasting impact in their debut World Cup game. Here are some of the cricketers who made smashing World Cup debuts.
Gary Gilmour (Australia) (6/14 and 28* in 1975)
Gilmour made his debut in the pressure game of the semis against England in the first World Cup that was ever staged. However, he did not let the nerves of the big stage get to him as he dismissed six of the top seven English batters to end with figures of 12-6-14-6. It was the best spell in a World Cup before Winston Davis bettered it eight years later. England were all out for only 93 courtesy Gilmour’s heroics. He returned to top-score with 28 in the run-chase and cemented his place in the finals. He finished with 5 for 48 in the finals, but that could not help Australia get over the line against West Indies.
Andrew Symonds (Australia) (143 off 125 balls in 2003)
When Andrew Symonds walked out to bat against Pakistan in 2003, his team had stumbled to 86 for 4. Against a bowling attack that comprised of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar, the right-hander had the tough task of stabilizing the innings by playing the role of an anchor. He started off slowly and eventually finished with a mammoth score of 143 in only 125 balls as Australia got to 310 for 8 in their 50 overs. The Kangaroos went on to win the game by 82 runs, as Symonds set the stage for the team to win their second World Cup on the trot.
Virat Kohli (India) (100* off 83 balls in 2011)
India was taking on Bangladesh in their maiden World Cup game in 2011. The Delhiite had still not turned into the legend he is today but had done well to cement a spot in the World Cup with four hundred since his debut. The then 22-year old got together with Virender Sehwag to score 100 off only 83 deliveries, even as the opener was on a rampage en route his 175. Team India scored a mammoth 370 for 4 in their 50 overs, and the team won by 87 runs to start off their campaign with a bang. Kohli, best remembered for his “it’s time we carried Sachin Tendulkar on our shoulders” remark after India’s win in the finals, will now spearhead the team as they take the field in England during this year’s World Cup.