5 Bowlers Who Have Picked A Wicket On The First Ball Of A Test Match

Unlike the shortest format of the game and its sibling in another limited over version, Test cricket is all about resilience and strategies that are put under the litmus paper of time and patience. We have seen the best crumble under such telling circumstances and the most unflattering of them all, succeed.

Batting in this format needs far-sight and bowling needs consistent accuracy under the scorching sun. It is not easy to bowl at a set batsman because probably you will bowl your best and all he will do is let it fly past him. You will once again have to conjure up the magical courage to bowl at him. Bowling apparently becomes a tad notch difficult in this format with the prospect of restricting someone to a certain number of overs is taken out of the equation.

We have witnessed bowlers who have been absolutely magical with their accuracy and their dogged will to hit the deck at the same pace over and over again for a spell of 20 overs. We have also seen bowlers who have crumbled under the pressure of the format. Similarly, there is another class of bowlers who apparently can raze through the defenses of the batsman at will and at times consider doing in on the very first delivery of the game. We will look at that class of bowlers who were able to pick up a wicket in the very over of a Test match and concurrently are also labeled as greats of the game.


James Anderson

The English swing specialist started Boxing Day with a bang as he managed to dismiss Dean Elgar on the opening delivery of the first Test of the tour.

After putting the Proteas to bat, Anderson managed to angle the ball towards Elgar only for the batsman to nick it straight to Butler behind the stumps.

It was also Anderson’s 150th test and his return to the game after a hiatus of 5 long months due to calf injury.

Despite a lovely start to the bout, England was humiliated as their batting order collapsed like a house of cards to the joined tempest of Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander.

Anderson became the fourth English bowler to achieve this feat following the likes of Maurice Tate, Geoffrey Arnold, and Ryan Sidebottom.

Mitchell Starc


The vanguard of the Australian bowling glitterati found himself in this list as he went on to smack this feat in 2016 against Sri Lanka.

It was the 2nd Test of the series and Sri Lanka chose to bat. Starc rattled them up with an early bolt from his reserves. Dimuth Karunaratne fell victim to the fiery delivery of the Australian pace spearhead. A good-length delivery on the middle stump at almost 147 kays left Karunaratne disgruntled and he ended up hammering straight at Joe Burns.

This, however, didn’t save Australia the thrashing that they received at the hands of the hosts as Sri Lanka dismantled their opponents to win the game by a staggering 229 runs. Thanks to the phenomenal bowling of Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath who packed the visitors home with this crushing victory.

Despite Australia’s chagrin, Starc had a great game as he managed to pick up 11 wickets in the match with 5 in the first innings followed by 6 in the second.


Dale Steyn


This is an extremely rare feat achieved by the South African bowlers as only two of them have managed to pull off this stunner in this ongoing century.

South Africa’s former leading pace-machine, Dale Steyn managed to pull this stunt as he got rid of Andrew Strauss on the very first ball of the Johannesburg Test. After choosing to bat against a rampaging South Africa, Strauss paid a hefty price as Steyn bowled at his hips and he ended up glancing straight to Hashim Amla at short-leg.

Steyn ran through the South African batting order like a tracer bullet that humiliated England by an innings defeat.


Mohammad Amir


An infamous name in the circuit of international cricket, Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir made it to this prestigious list after deracinating Tim McIntosh’s stumps with a vicious inswinging yorker at an unripe age of 18 years.

It was in 2009 at Dunedin when the Kiwis were up against Pakistan and Amir did himself this remarkable honor with an absolute ripper.

Amir was an extremely bright name in the canon until he got mired in the scandalous match-fixing that saw him getting suspension orders. He is back to the Pakistani squad now, however, time will only tell that in what shape is Amir now as the scandal knocked out valuable years of his playing career.


Glenn McGrath


Popularly known as Pidge amongst his teammates, the Australian fast-bowler was known for his lethal accuracy with line and lengths.

With more than 940 international wickets in his repertoire, he too pulled off this incredible stunt at Galle like his compatriot Mitchell Starc.

With a delivery slightly drifting away from Sri Lankan stalwart, Sanath Jayasuriya, the southpaw tried to defend it. The ball took a sharp edge and went straight to Mark Waugh in the slips. This was way back in 1999 as he became the first Australian bowler to perform this record after the 1970s.

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