As they say, Test cricket is the pinnacle form of cricket. There are 12 Test teams with two of them (Ireland and Afghanistan) entering the fray only last year. 11 of them have Test wins under their belt.
The first win, though, is always special. Hence, here we bring to you each team’s Test debut and their maiden win in Test cricket.
Ireland (2018 – Yet to win a Test)
Ireland have been around for a while. However, they attained Test status in 2017 and made their debut in May 2018. Pakistan toured the European nation and the historic Test match was played in Dublin. A lot of the Irish cricketers had first-class experience because of their regular participation in County cricket.
They did get a little overawed by the occasion but got better as the Test match progressed. In fact, they gave Pakistan a mighty scare but eventually, the latter put it across Ireland. Ireland played Afghanistan and England in their second and third Test respectively but lost in those games as well. Hence, they are the only Test team without a win in the longest format of the game.
The rise of Afghanistan cricket over the last decade has been remarkable. From Division Five to attaining Test status, they’ve come a long long way. In June 2018, they became the 12th team to make their debut in Test cricket. They may have been the only side with very less first-class experience while making their Test debut.
Afghanistan faced India at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. It was a historic and emotional occasion for the Afghans. However, they were rolled over in two days as they lost by an innings. But they improved the next time they donned the whites. It was in March earlier this year when they faced Ireland, they tasted success for the first time ever in the longest format of the game. They won by seven wickets as they dominated for most part of the game and chased down 149 in the fourth innings.
Bangladesh became the first new team to attain Test status in the 21st century. They made their debut in 2000 against India in Dhaka. They fought really well on first three days of the Test match. In fact, they also had India in a spot of bother as well. They scored 400 in the first innings and had India on the backfoot 190/5. However, India eventually took a 29-run lead and rolled over the debutants for 91 and won the Test easily in the end.
It took five years for Bangladesh to register their first Test win. It was in January 2005 when Zimbabwe toured the Asian country. In the first Test, they were clinical as they did almost everything right. They batted first and batted big, they took a big first-innings lead and dominated the game. It was also their first-ever series win as well.
India have played a lot of teams in their debut Test match. Zimbabwe also faced India on debut and it was back in 1992. The venue was Harare and it was Zimbabwe who called the shots in the game. They piled up 456 batting first before skittling India for 307. However, rain played some part as the third innings wasn’t even complete. But Zimbabwe impressed on debut.
However, it was only 1995 they tasted success in Test cricket. They faced Pakistan in a three-match Test series. In the first Test, they absolutely annihilated Pakistan. Having scored 544 batting first, they bowled out Pakistan cheaply twice in the game and won by an innings. However, they lost the next two Test matches to lose the series.
Sri Lanka (1982-1985)
Sri Lanka had played a couple of World Cups but it was only in 1982 that they made their Test debut. It was against England in Colombo when they first donned the whites. They were at par with England in the first innings as they both almost cancelled each other’s scores but the latter dominated the second innings and eventually won by seven wickets (target was 171).
It took Sri Lanka almost three and a half years to register their maiden Test win. India were at the receiving end. It came at the same venue where they made their Test debut. Sri Lanka made 385 in the first innings before restricting India to 206. They then set a big fourth innings target with their neighbours failed to chase.
Pakistan didn’t take long to register their first-ever Test win. They made their debut against arch-rivals India in 1952 in Delhi. It was a three-match Test series. In the first Test, they lost badly as they slumped to an innings defeat. The batting failed big time and they could barely touch 150 in both innings.
However, they took revenge as they returned the favour in the very next Test in Lucknow. They won by an innings as the Indian batting failed in both innings. 106 and 182 were the scores India could muster in that game. However, Pakistan lost the last Test to lost the series.
1932 was the year India made their entry into Test cricket. They faced England in their debut Test match at Lord’s. The batting failed to deliver as they were bundled out for under 200 in both innings and eventually, lost by 159 runs.
It took them nearly two decades to register their first-ever Test win. It came against the team they made their debut against, England. It was the fifth Test of the series and England were leading 1-0. A clinical performance with both bat and ball ensured an innings win for the hosts. Not too long after, they also registered their maiden Test series win.
New Zealand (1930-1956)
New Zealand made their debut in 1930 but took the longest time to taste victory in Test cricket. Their first Test was played at Christchurch against England and the latter won the game rather comfortably. New Zealand scored just 112 and 131 in the two innings and England chased down 66 in the fourth innings to win the game.
It was only 26 years later New Zealand could first get hands-on a win in Test cricket. It was on the back of their bowlers as they skittled West Indies for 145 and 77 in the two innings.
West Indies (1928-1930)
In 1930, West Indies became the fourth team to enter the international circuit. They played England at Lord’s and were humbled. The hosts scored 401 and the men from the Caribbean scored 177 and 166 in their two innings.
However, West Indies didn’t have to wait too long for their maiden Test win. In only their seventh Test match, they registered their first-ever win and it came against England at Georgetown. They scored heavily with the bat and restricted England to paltry scores to win by 289 runs.
South Africa (1889-1906)
When South Africa entered the fray, it was the first time a team not named England or Australia played Test cricket. It was the 31st Test match in the history of the sport. In their maiden Test which was played at Port Elizabeth against England in 1889, South Africa fought valiantly but fell short. The batsmen had a tough time throughout the game and England won a low-scoring encounter by eight wickets.
They didn’t play a lot of cricket and hence, in their 12th Test which was 17 years after their debut, South Africa beat England. Despite having their backs against their walls, the Proteas came back and won the game by one wicket as they chased down 287.
England were the first-ever team to play Test cricket alongside Australia. The game was played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It was a closely fought Test match. Australia made 245 batting first and England responded with 196. The visitors fought back well with the ball as they bowled the Aussies out for 104. However, they fell 45 runs short.
But it didn’t take long for them to turn the tide. A fortnight later, they tasted success as they beat the Aussies at the same venue by four wickets. This time, they dominated the game and closed it out well too. Australia scored 122 in the first essay while England took a 139-run lead before restricting their opponents to 259. They chased it down with four wickets to spare.
Australia are the only side in the history of the game to have won their first-ever Test match. In 1877, they faced England at the MCG. Batting first, they made 245 before eking out a 49-run lead. They were skittled out for a mere 104 in the second innings but they fought back superbly with the ball to earn a 45-run victory.