Don Bradman (Aus) - 1st Test v Eng 1928-29, Brisbane
Drafted into the Aussie side to infuse young blood into an aging team, Bradman did not have the start that he would have hoped for. Despite being electric in the field, his batting did not match the expectations; scoring 18 and 1 as the home side, bowled out for 66 in the second innings, suffered a heavy defeat. Bradman was made the scapegoat for the loss. That also happened to be the only time he was dropped in his entire career. He was eventually recalled for the third Test and went on to make a hundred; thereby becoming the youngest player to achieve that feat then. The rest, as they say, is history.
Shane Warne (Aus) - 3rd Test v Ind 1991-92, Sydney
Two of Wisden’s 5 cricketers of the century have had the worst of starts to their career which should give lots of hope to cricketers around the world who never had the debut they hoped for. On his debut, Warne’s returns read 45-7-150-1. Regarded as the greatest spinner of all time alongside Muttiah Muralitharan, he has been considered by some as ‘one of best captains Australia never had’. He revived the long forgotten art of leg-spin and changed the way modern day spinners approached the game. He went on to finish his career as one of the greatest to have ever played the game with a tally of 708 test wickets.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni(Ind) - Bangladesh Tour 2004/05
After a prolific run with the India A team and in domestic matches, Dhoni was finally called up for national duty against the Bangladeshis in 2004. Dhoni did not have the best of starts to his batting as he was run out for a duck in his first ODI. Despite a not- so-promising start to his career, he was picked for the home series against Pakistan. He went on to score 148 in his 5th ODI and from then on, became a vital part of the ODI team under Rahul Dravid before finally taking the centre stage in all formats of the game.
Sourav Chandidas Ganguly(Ind) - WestIndies Series 1992/93
Following a prolific Ranji season in 1990-1991, Ganguly was selected for the series against the West Indies. He scored three runs on his One-Day international debut for India. He was branded ‘arrogant’ and with questions also being raised about his attitude, he was axed from the team. He went back to domestic cricket and ended up scoring heavily in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 Ranji seasons which finally led to his national call-up amidst media scrutiny for the 1996 tour of England. He made his Test debut, scoring a magnificent 131 off 301 deliveries in his very first innings, in the second match of the series at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord’s, alongside his future deputy and fellow debutant, Rahul Dravid.