When Shubman Gill recently made his test debut in the second test match of the four-match series against Australia at Melbourne, he became the Indian batsman with the 5th highest batting average in first class cricket before test debut.
The record is held by Vinod Kambli who averaged 88.37 when he made his maiden test appearance for India against England at Eden Gardens in 1993. At that point, Vinod Kambli had already scored 3093 runs in first class cricket from 27 matches and was destined for greatness.
He did start well as he became the fastest Indian cricketer to 1000 test runs, but his career fell off a cliff from there on.
Another Mumbai batsman Pravin Amre was a prolific run scorer and had an average of 81.23 when he made his test debut. He had already scored 2112 runs from 23 FC innings. However, he went on to play only 11 test matches in which he did a decent job, scoring 425 runs at an average of 42.50.
Amre went on to play first class cricket till 2000-01 and finished with a FC average of 48.86 with 5815 runs from 86 matches.
Rusi Modi, who represented Mumbai in first class cricket between 1941-42 and 1959-60, played 10 test matches for India, scoring 736 runs at an average of 46.
When the stroke-player made his debut for India in test cricket, he averaged 71.28 in first class cricket with 3279 runs from 38 matches. He finished his career with an average of 53.02 in first class cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar is placed at the fourth spot in the list of batsmen with highest first class averages upon making their debut for India. Tendulkar had actually played just nine matches when he was fast-tracked into the test setup.
Tendulkar showed enough glimpses in those games for the selectors to know that he was a class apart. The Little Master scored 772 runs from his first nine first class matches at an average of 70.18.
When Shubman Gill made his debut at Melbourne, he averaged 68.78 in first class cricket from 23 matches with 2270 runs.
It reflected well on the health of the Indian first class structure when Gill looked capable at handling arguably the best bowling attack in world cricket right now, facing Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, who were bowling well in excess of 140 kmph.