Cricket's Gen Next begins innings in style
Cricket history is replete with examples of family connections on the field. The last few weeks have seen a whole new bunch of Gen Next making a splash. Hear about them from Bikash Mohapatra.
It is not a new phenomenon in cricket.
The history of the sport is replete with examples of sons following their fathers into the cricket field. The same applies to other kin as well.
Some of the younger lot have gone ahead and matched, even bettered, their predecessor's achievements while others have succumbed to the pressure of measuring up to their illustrious fathers (uncles).
The last few weeks have seen a whole new bunch of this Gen Next making a splash on the field. While for some it marked a promising start, in case of others it was about finally making a mark.
Rediff.com presents a lowdown on these memorable efforts.
Mitchell Marsh (Australia)
His father remains the only one to have won the World Cup as a player (1987) and coach (1999).
Geoff Marsh's younger son, Mitchell, has also made a mark at a very early age. The 20-year-old made a spectacular start to his T20 career against South Africa at Johannesburg last month, scoring a 21-ball 36, a knock that was inclusive of four hits over the fence.
He followed it up with an impressive ODI debut, at Supersport park, where he impressed with the ball, making South African skipper Hashim Amla his first international wicket.
The younger Marsh also impressed with the ball in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League, picking seven wickets while playing for the Pune Warriors.
Besides, under his captaincy, Australia won the under-19 World Cup last year.
A five-wicket haul on debut
Doug Bracewell (New Zealand)
His father, Brendon, played six Tests for New Zealand between 1978-1985, in an injury-punctuated career.
His uncle was a far more illustrious name in New Zealand cricket, former all-rounder and coach John Bracewell.
And Doug, a promising fast-bowling all-rounder, looks capable of adding more feathers to his family's cap.
Playing in his first Test against Zimbabwe, at the Queen's Sports Club in Bulawayo, last week, the 21-year-old took five for 85 in the second innings to help the team to a memorable 34-run win. More importantly, he helped reduce Daniel Vettori's -- for long NZ's best bowling option -- burden to a considerable extent.
In the process, he became only the seventh New Zealand bowler to pick a five-wicket haul on Test debut.
The young bowler also made impressive debuts in ODIs -- three for 55 at Harare -- and T20s -- three for 25, also at Harare.
Image: Douglas Bracewell
Waller enured Zimbabwe a dramatic last-over win
Malcolm Waller (Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe had a forgettable series against New Zealand.
The only match they won, the third ODI at Bulawayo, was more because of individual brilliance than team effort.
The Kiwis, having already pocketed the series, had posted a formidable total (328 for five), courtesy fine hundreds by captain Ross Taylor (119) and Kane Williamson (100 not out) and at 183 for five, the hosts seemed destined to suffer a whitewash.
Then Malcolm Waller took over, slamming an unbeaten 99 (off just 74 balls) to help Zimbabwe win in a dramatic last-over finish.
Malcolm's father, Andy played two Tests and 39 ODIs for Zimbabwe and coached Namibia post retirement. The 27-year-old made his ODI debut a couple of years back, but it was his show against New Zealand that brought him recognition.
It also earned Malcolm his Test debut, in the one-off Test at Bulawayo. The youngster made an unbeaten 72 in the first innings, thereby becoming only the 11th Zimbabwean batsman to score a half-century on debut.
Image: Malcolm Waller
Zimbabwe's best bowling option at present
Kyle Jarvis (Zimbabwe)
At 22, Kyle Jarvis is Zimbabwe's best bowling option.
On his Test debut, against Bangladesh at Harare this August, he picked four for 61 in the second innings to ensure Zimbabwe, in what was their first Test in six years, a comprehensive 130-run win.
Kyle's maiden five-wicket haul came in his third Test, at Bulawayo, when his five for 64 in the second innings helped dismiss New Zealand for a paltry 252.
The son of Malcolm Jarvis, who played five Tests and 12 ODIs for Zimbabwe between 1987 to 1995, Kyle, with his raw pace, is regarded the best bowling prospect for the future.
With Heath Streak as the national bowling coach, Kyle is in the right hands for sure.
Image: Kyle Jarvis
Capable... but not consistent
Lendl Simmons (West Indies)
Many might not agree with this name on the list. And rightly so.
That's because Lendl Simmons made his international debut a good five years back and has thus far been inconsistent, to say the least.
However, his ability of scoring big cannot be denied, as his 122 and 80 in his last two ODI innings suggest.
As a matter of fact, the 26-year-old has amassed a whopping 634 runs in his last 11 ODIs, and that includes seven fifties and a hundred.
His uncle, Phil Simmons, too was a key ODI player for the West Indies, but also played in 26 Tests. Lendl has thus far played in just eight Tests and is not a part of squad touring India at the moment.
To secure a spot in the game's longer and more prestigious version, he needs to be a lot more consistent.
Image: Lendl Simmons