Only 7 Indian players have managed to win the Player of the Match award on test debut.
The first such Indian player was Pravin Amre who did it against South Africa at Durban in 1992. He was also the 9th Indian batsman to score a century on test debut when he struck 103 in his first opportunity in International red ball cricket.
Since then, RP Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin have received Player of the Match awards for their brilliant bowling on debut. RP Singh got the award in 2006 against Pakistan at Faisalabad while Ravichandran Ashwin achieved the feat against West Indies at Delhi in 2011.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Prithvi Shaw all struck centuries on their test debut and walked away with the player of the match award.
Dhawan made 183 against Australia at Mohali in 2013 while Rohit Sharma struck a brilliant century against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2013. Prithvi Shaw proved himself on the big stage with a stroke-filled century against West Indies at Rajkot in 2018.
Iyer joins the club
Recently, Shreyas Iyer became only the seventh Indian player to receive the player of the match award in his test debut for his contribution to the team in the first test match of the 2-match series between India and New Zealand.
The first test was played in Kanpur and India won the toss and decided to bat first. India were at 106/3 when Shreyas Iyer came out to bat. He looked quite settled and ended up making 105 off 171 deliveries with the help of 13 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Shreyas looked set for a big ton but ended up chipping the ball to cover off Tim Southee in what was a soft dismissal.
A well-deserved accolade
It was courtesy of Iyer’s knock that India were ahead in the match after having made 345 in the first innings and bowling out New Zealand for 296 in their first innings.
However, some brilliant bowling from Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson meant that India were tottering at 51/5 in their second innings and the match was in the balance.
At that point, Iyer made a vital contribution once again making a gutsy 65 which ensured that India could not lose the match. After the test ended in a thrilling draw, Shreyas Iyer deservedly received the player of the match award.