Debutant of the year

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2023 Debutant of the year nominees: A World Cup star, a debut centurion, and T20 stalwarts

A diverse crop of newcomers made a splash across formats this year

Called up to plug the gaps left by the injured Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, Gerald Coetzee finished as South Africa's top wicket-taker at the World Cup © Getty Images

Gerald Coetzee (South Africa)
Tests: 10 wickets at 24.50 (3 matches)
ODIs: 31 wickets at 23.22 (14 matches)
T20Is: 6 wickets at 10.50 Econ (4 matches)

With a touch of Dale Steyn in his vein-popping celebrations and a head-band to match, Coetzee announced himself with 11 wickets in his first four ODIs, against West Indies and Australia, and followed it up with a stellar World Cup performance, emerging as one of South Africa frontline quicks in the absence of Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala. Coetzee finished with 20 wickets from eight games, the most of any South Africa bowler, and the joint fourth-most of any bowler in the tournament, alongside Jasprit Bumrah. Fifteen of those wickets came in the middle overs - only Adam Zampa took more in that phase, 17 - in which he accounted for the likes of Jos Buttler, Harry Brook, Mohammad Rizwan and Steven Smith. Though he did go for runs, he more than made up for it with his ability to strike hard and repeatedly, bowling consistently in the high-140kph range. Earlier in the year, he'd also made his Test debut against West Indies where he picked up three wickets in the first game, then doubled that tally in the next.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (India)
Tests: 288 runs at 57.60 (3 matches)
T20Is: 430 runs at 159.25 SR (15 matches)

On a slow pitch in Dominica, where Virat Kohli took 80 balls to find his first boundary, Jaiswal unveiled a dream Test debut, patiently accumulating 171 over eight hours and 387 balls. Already a record-breaker in the domestic side, Jaiswal earned his national call-up after a prolific IPL season for Rajasthan Royals, where he also scored the fastest IPL fifty, off 13 balls. In August in a T20I against West Indies, Jaiswal teamed up with Shubman Gill to add 165 for the opening partnership, the joint-highest for India in the format. Later in the year at the Asian Games, his 49-ball 100 against Nepal propelled India into the semi-final. His ability to attack aggressively from the first ball makes Jaiswal a potent opener - in 14 T20I innings in 2023, he struck at nearly 160 opening the batting - and a strong contender for the spot at the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Towhid Hridoy (Bangladesh)
ODIs: 727 runs at 34.61 (27 matches)
T20Is: 191 runs at 126.49 SR (11 matches)

After racking up 403 runs in the BPL's 2023 season, Towhid Hridoy vindicated his call up to the national side with a well-paced 92 against Ireland in his first ODI in March, the highest score by a Bangladesh debutant in the format. Hridoy teamed with Shakib Al Hasan to build a careful stand of 135 for the fourth wicket, before cutting loose to add 80 more with Mushfiqur Rahim to take Bangladesh to 338, their highest ever ODI total. By the time the World Cup came around, he had rung up 518 runs, including five scores of 50-plus, in 15 innings. Though he had a lean run in the World Cup, his gritty 74 against Australia from No. 4 showed what might have been had he found room higher up in the batting order.

Coming in at Nos. 5 and 6 in T20Is, Rinku Singh has struck at over 180 © Associated Press

Rinku Singh (India)
ODIs: 55 runs at 27.50 (2 matches)
T20Is: 262 runs at 180.68 SR (12 matches)

Barely a footnote in Kolkata Knight Riders' previous IPL seasons, Rinku blazed his name in lights in 2023 in a single over, smashing five sixes off the last five balls to give KKR an impossible win against Gujarat Titans. Named in the India squad for the T20I series in Ireland, he made a scrappy 38 in the second T20I to help India to a series win, and his unbeaten 37 off 15 balls, though overshadowed by Yashavi Jaiswal's hundred, was a vital cameo in India's quarter-final win over Nepal in the Asian Games in Hangzhou. With his calm aggression and the ability to cut loose in the death overs, he cemented his position as a middle-order enforcer and finisher in T20Is later in the year, top-scoring with 46 in a win against Australia in Raipur, and again with an unbeaten 68 against South Africa, albeit in a loss. He played just two ODIs in the year, but reprised the same role, muscling 38 runs at the death to lift India to a match-winning 296 against South Africa in Paarl.

Todd Murphy (Australia)
Tests: 21 wickets at 25.42 (6 Tests)
Twenty-two-year-old Todd Murphy's eighth first-class game was his debut Test, in Nagpur, where, bowling alongside his idol and mentor Nathan Lyon, he picked up seven wickets in an innings, becoming the first Australian spinner since Lyon to take a five-wicket haul on debut. He never quite hit the same level of proficiency again on that tour of India, but he bowled with remarkable control, and accounted for Virat Kohli four times. He finished the tour with 14 wickets in six innings, conceding well under three runs an over. Despite his fantastic start, it was uncertain when conditions would demand Australia play two spinners again, but when Lyon pulled out of the Ashes with a calf injury, Murphy was the first-choice spinner. Though he played just two Tests in that series, he showed his mettle in the final game, at The Oval, prising out Ben Stokes and Joe Root, and cleaning up with the wickets of Mark Wood and James Anderson.

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2023

Deepti Unni is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo