Generally, a cricketer is first supposed to play junior level cricket before making his way to first class cricket and eventually making his debut in international cricket if he is talented enough to do so.
However, some of the cricketers, because of their unbelievable talent, get fast-tracked into international cricket without playing too much of junior cricket. Here are the 5 cricketers who made their debut for India in ODI cricket even before the age of 18 –
#1 Sachin Tendulkar:
Sachin Tendulkar played his first ODI for India when he was 16 years of age. His first One Day International was against Pakistan in Gujranwala in 1989.
Since the time he made his ODI debut till the time he retired from the game, Sachin continued to remain the integral part of India’s 50-over squad and eventually managed to win the ODI World Cup as well towards the end of his career.
#2 Maninder Singh:
Maninder Singh made his ODI debut for India at 17 years of age in 1983 against Pakistan. Maninder was a classical left arm spinner who used to get the ball above the batsmen’s eye-line and beat the batsmen in the air with his loop.
Maninder was oozing talent when he first burst onto the scene and was tipped as the next big thing in India’s spin department, but he couldn’t play for as long as he was expected to. Maninder played just 35 ODIs for India.
#3 Harbhajan Singh:
Harbhajan was also 17 when he made his ODI debut for India against New Zealand in 1998.
Harbhajan was tipped to have a bright future as well when people first saw him at the international level and Harbhajan, unlike Maninder, actually lived up to the expectations.
The off spinner from Punjab, who is immensely skillful, has got more than 400 Test wickets for India so far and has still not retired from the game. However, he is not in the plans of the national selectors at the moment.
#4 Parthiv Patel:
Parthiv Patel made his debut for India in ODI cricket in 2003 against New Zealand. He was picked as a back-up wicketkeeper in the squad as it was Rahul Dravid who was India’s first choice wicketkeeper in white ball cricket at that time.
However, even after Dravid gave up the wicket-keeping gloves later in the 2004-05 season; Parthiv couldn’t become the regular member of the Indian ODI side as MS Dhoni took over the gloves from Dravid.
#5 Chetan Sharma:
Chetan Sharma made his ODI debut for India at 17 years of age against West Indies in 1983. Chetan was a swing bowler who used to get wonderful shape away from the right-handers with the new ball.
Chetan went on to become the first ever bowler in the history of the game to register a hat-trick in 50-over World Cup. The right arm speedster achieved the feat in the 1987 World Cup.