Hussey celebrates his maiden ODI century in his first match as captain © AFP

Michael Hussey has scarcely put a foot wrong since he made his debut in 2005. He captained Australia for the first time - because Ricky Ponting was rested - against West Indies at the Kinrara Oval after just 40 international appearances and celebrated the occasion with a hundred. Did I mention that he began his innings when Australia were struggling at 64 for 4? That innings lifted Hussey's ODI average to a whopping 84 in ODIs, miles ahead of Kevin Pietersen who is second-highest with 57, and at a strike-rate of 99. This week, we focus on the best performances in a first match as captain.

Hussey's innings, as magnificent as it was, couldn't prevent Australia from losing to West Indies. Sachin Tendulkar's hundred in his first match as captain also was in vain as Sri Lanka won by nine wickets. However, he did win his first Test as captain - a match in which he scored 10 and a duck - against Australia in 1996.

Highest individual scores in first match as captain - ODIs
Player Runs Result Opposition Ground Season Scorecard
GM Turner (NZ) 171* won v East Africa Birmingham 1975 ODI 20
SR Tendulkar (India) 110 lost v Sri Lanka Colombo (RPS) 1996 ODI 1106
MEK Hussey (Aust) 109* lost v West Indies Kinrara 2006/07 ODI 2417
RB Richardson (WI) 106* won v Pakistan Sharjah 1991/92 ODI 679
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 102 won v Zimbabwe Colombo (SSC) 1997/98 ODI 1286
AC Gilchrist (Aust) 98 won v West Indies Brisbane 2000/01 ODI 1670
T Taibu (Zimb) 96* lost v Sri Lanka Bulawayo 2004 ODI 2119
SR Waugh (Aust) 91 lost v South Africa Bloemfontein 1996/97 ODI 1199
MA Atherton (Eng) 86 won v West Indies Bridgetown 1993/94 ODI 880
KC Wessels (SAf) 81* won v Australia Sydney 1991/92 ODI 719

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  • New Zealand's Graham Dowling scored 239 against India in his first Test as captain. It was the highest score for New Zealand at the time beating Bert Sutcliffe's 230 at Delhi in 1955-56. The match was also New Zealand's fourth victory in 81 Tests.

    The most recent player to score a hundred in his first Test as captain is Andrew Strauss. He was standing in for Andrew Flintoff, who was standing in for Michael Vaughan, when he scored his 128 against Pakistan at Lord's . Incidentally, Strauss also hit a century on Test debut at Lord's.

    Highest individual scores in first match as captain - Tests
    Player Runs Result Opposition Ground Season Scorecard
    GT Dowling (NZ) 239 won v India Christchurch 1967/68 Test 631
    S Chanderpaul (WI) 203* drawn v South Africa Georgetown 2004/05 Test 1745
    C Hill (Aust) 191 won v South Africa Sydney 1910/11 Test 111
    VS Hazare (India) 164* drawn v England Delhi 1951/52 Test 339
    CH Lloyd (WI) 163 won v India Bangalore 1974/75 Test 745
    WW Armstrong (Aust) 158 won v England Sydney 1920/21 Test 135
    WL Murdoch (Aust) 153* lost v England The Oval 1880 Test 4
    GHS Trott (Aust) 143 lost v England Lord's 1896 Test 50
    MA Noble (Aust) 133 lost v England Sydney 1903/04 Test 78
    AJ Strauss (Eng) 128 drawn v Pakistan Lord's 2006 Test 1809

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  • Waqar Younis became Pakistan's youngest Test captain at 22 years and 15 days when Wasim Akram, for medical reasons, sat out of Pakistan's first ever Test against Zimbabwe at Karachi in 1993. Coincidentally, the match was also Andy Flower's first as captain. Flower made 63 in the first innings but Waqar out-shone him by taking 13 for 135, his best Test figures, to lead Pakistan to victory by 131 runs. The next time he captained Pakistan was in May 2001 when Pakistan lost by an innings and nine runs at Lord's. However in his first ODI as captain a month earlier, Waqar leaked 65 in ten overs as Lara took West Indies to victory at Sharjah.

    Best match bowling in first match as captain - Tests
    Player Figures Result Opposition Ground Season Scorecard
    Waqar Younis (Pak) 13/135 won v Zimbabwe Karachi (DS) 1993/94 Test 1237
    AER Gilligan (Eng) 11/90 won v South Africa Birmingham 1924 Test 153
    EP Nupen (SAf) 11/150 won v England Johannesburg 1930/31 Test 200
    GOB Allen (Eng) 10/78 won v India Lord's 1936 Test 252
    Imran Khan (Pak) 9/136 lost v England Birmingham 1982 Test 931
    RGD Willis (Eng) 9/142 won v India Lord's 1982 Test 928
    N Kapil Dev (India) 8/118 lost v West Indies Kingston 1982/83 Test 949
    CA Smith (Eng) 7/61 won v South Africa Port Elizabeth 1888/89 Test 31
    R Benaud (Aust) 7/112 won v England Brisbane 1958/59 Test 460
    Fazal Mahmood (Pak) 7/124 won v West Indies Karachi 1958/59 Test 469

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  • Trivia

  • Don Bradman was dismissed for a duck in his first game as captain against England at Brisbane in 1936. He made another duck in his next innings at Sydney, the only time in his career when he's been dismissed for single digits in consecutive innings.
  • Mark Taylor, Rashid Latif and Habibul Bashar made pairs in their first match as captain, and ended up losing those Tests.
  • Courtney Walsh had a tough first Test as captain. He bowled 40 overs without a wicket, didn't bat and took no catches. He did win the toss however and Lara scored 375 after Walsh chose to bat.
  • Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo