ESPNcricinfo Awards 2021 Debutant of the year nominees: Asalanka, Nissanka and others make it a bumper Sri Lankan crop

Tests: 29 runs at 14.50 (1 match)
ODIs: 326 runs at 40.75 (8 matches)
T20Is: 295 runs at SR 132.88 (9 matches)

The 24-year-old former Under-19 Sri Lanka captain is a strong and fearless bottom-hand-heavy player who can give the ball a whack. Making his debut across the three international formats in four months in 2021 for the national side, he won the Player-of-the-Series award against South Africa in September, having accumulated 196 runs in the three ODIs. In the main draw of the T20 World Cup, he scored 225 runs at a strike rate of 153.06. Among the batters who scored over 200 runs in the Super 12s, his strike rate was the best. His unbeaten 80 against Bangladesh came under pressure, when Sri Lanka were toiling at 79 for 4, chasing 172. Given Sri Lanka have had problems finding a consistent performer at No. 3, Asalanka looks a decent bet for the position.
 
Praveen Jayawickrama (Sri Lanka)
Tests: 18 wickets at 18.22 (3 matches)
ODIs: 5 wickets at 35.40 (5 matches)

It didn’t matter much that Jayawickrama had played only ten first-class matches before his Test debut. The young left-arm spinner couldn’t have asked for a better first game: he returned match figures of 11 for 178 against Bangladesh in the second Test in Pallekele, which the hosts won by a massive 209 runs. His match figures were the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut and the best by a left-arm spinner from any country on debut. Jayawickrama was included in the white-ball squads for the England tour, and though he only bowled one over on his ODI debut against England, he took three in his second game, against India at home.
 
Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)
Tests: 3 wickets at 40.33 (2 matches)
T20Is: 6 wickets at 4.36 Econ (6 matches)

“Earmarked as a star of the future since his U-19 days” in the words of New Zealand coach Gary Stead, 22-year-old allrounder Ravindra came into the national team on the back of centuries for New Zealand A against West Indies early last season. Having recovered from a dislocated shoulder, he earned his maiden Test call-up for the tour of England, which included the World Test Championship final against India. Though he didn’t play for New Zealand on that tour, Ravindra made his debut against India in Kanpur in November, showing immense application in playing out 91 deliveries with the tail to help his team eke out a draw. In T20Is his left-arm fingerspin has come in handy, like in the second T20I against Bangladesh in Dhaka, where he accounted for the top three.