Seven bowling wonders of 2011
Bowlers seldom have it easy in Test cricket, particularly on debut. But the year 2011 witnessed a change in their fortunes. In fact, as the year draws to a close, one can safely say the last 11 months belonged to debutant Test bowlers.
With exceptional performances on being handed Test caps some of them not only sealed places in their respective squads, but made the world stand up and take notice of them.
A look at the bowlers who left a mark in the maiden Tests in 2011.
Bowling figures: 5-27,
1st Test, vs New Zealand, Gabba
The most recent entry to the elite list, and, perhaps most sensational, is James Pattinson.
There was talk in New Zealand media about the inexperience of Australia's pace attack and how the Kiwi batsmen would feast on it. But came the first Test in Brisbane and the 21-year-old pacer had different plans.
He ripped through the top order in a fine morning spell to fire Australia to an emphatic victory by nine wickets on the fourth day, December 4.
Pattinson generated enough pace and bounce to finish with five for 27.
The feat made him the second Australian quick in successive Tests to take five or more wickets on debut after teenager Pat Cummins claimed 6-79 against South Africa last month.
To add more numbers to it, Pattinson became the seventh bowler in the last three months to take five wickets in an innings on debut.
A week later, Pattinson claimed a five-wicket haul for a second successive match as Australia dismissed New Zealand for 150 in their first innings on the opening day of the second Test. He finished with figures of 5-51. Australia went on to lose the Test by seven runs, but Pattinson, for his overall showing, was named man of the series.
Image: James Pattinson
Bowling figures: 5-34
1st Test, vs Sri Lanka, Galle
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon sizzled on his international debut, capturing five wickets as Australia dismissed Sri Lanka for a mere 105 runs in their first innings of the opening Test in September.
The cherry on his cake was the wicket of the in-form Kumar Sangakkara with the first ball of his debut over. He went on to add the scalps of the last four Lankan batsmen, conceding just four runs off 12 balls, to leave the home team in tatters.
Last week, the 24-year-old wrapped New Zealand's tail, claiming 3-19 to add to his first innings 4-69, as Australia won the first Test by nine wickets.
'Sunny' side up for Bangladesh
Bowling figures: 6-94
1st Test, vs West Indies, Chittagong
Left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, who will turn 26 on the first day of 2012, claimed six wickets in the first innings of the first Test against the West Indies in October and emerged Bangladesh's brightest hope.
His figures of six for 94 in the first innings helped dismiss the West Indies for 244.
Though rain cast a gloomy spell and Test ended in draw, Sunny, who was deservedly named man of the match, did bring the much-needed sunshine to the Bangladesh camp.
Bracewell joins exclusive Kiwi club
Bowling figures: 5-85
1st Test, vs Zimbabwe, Bulawayo
Doug Bracewell helped New Zealand to win their first away Test since 2008 in November.
Although, it was against Zimbabwe, his second innings figures of 5 for 85 aided the team beat the hosts by 34 runs at the Queens Sports Club.
Before joining the team, the 21-year-old's only claim to fame was his famous last name; his father Brendon Bracewell represented New Zealand, while his uncle John was an accomplished all-rounder and former coach of the national team.
His 5-85 was the fifth best by a Kiwi on Test debut. It put him in an exclusive club of only seven players to grab a five-wicket haul.
That was not all, Bracewell took six wickets in a devastating spell around lunch on the fourth day of the second Test on December 12 to fire the Kiwis to a dramatic first victory over Australia since 1993.
Australia, requiring 241 for victory, appeared to be grinding their way to their target on the back of David Warner's maiden Test century until Bracewell (6-40) sent them tumbling from 159 for 2 to 233 all out. The seven-run victory in Hobart was New Zealand's first on Australian soil since 1985.
Many firsts for Ashwin
Bowling figures: 6-47
1st Test, vs West Indies, Delhi
Ravichandran Ashwin made a memorable Test debut, claiming six wickets for 47 runs in the second innings of the first Test against the West Indies in Delhi.
The right-arm off-spinner finished with nine wickets, including three for 81 from the first innings, as India won by five wickets at the Ferozshah Kotla.
The feat put him in the elite list of Indian bowlers who have taken five-for on debut in Tests. The 25-year-old became only the third cricketer ever to be named Man-of-the-Match in his first Test.
Ashiwn went on to stamp his mark with the bat too later in the just-concluded three-Test series, scoring his maiden international century (103), as India drew the third Test.
Philander destroys Australia
Bowling figures: 5-15
1st Test, vs Australia, Cape Town
It was a remarkable Test debut for South Africa seamer Vernon Philander in Cape Town, where Australian wickets tumbled like nine pins and the first Test was over in three days, the Proteas scoring an eight-wicket victory .
The 26-year-old right-arm pacer claimed five wickets for 15 runs in seven overs as Australia were shot out for 47 in the second innings, the country's lowest completed Test innings total since 1902.
His efforts gave him match figures of 8-78 and the Man-of-the-Match award, having finished the two-Test series with 14 wickets at 13.92 and two five-wicket hauls.
Dream for a teen
Bowling figures: 6-79
2nd Test, vs South Afirica, Wanderers
Pat Cummins wrote his name in the annals of Test cricket with a haul of 6 for 79 against South Africa in the second innings of the second Test.
Indeed, it was a dream debut for the 18-year-old New South Wales right-arm fast bowler at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in November, Australia's youngest Test cricketer since Ian Craig in 1953.
After claiming just one wicket in the first innings for 38 runs, Cummins stole the limelight with figures of 6 for 79, becoming the second youngest Test cricketer after Enamul Haque Jr to take six wickets in an innings. That was not all. He then scored 13 runs in the second innings, including a four to win the match.