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5 Batsmen to score most centuries in their first 150 Test innings

The hype around centuries and fifers won’t subside for any and it is these landmarks that enable a player to cement his place at the international stage. Many a times, the manner in which a century is chronicled won’t matter as all know how difficult it is to achieve success at the highest level. Every cricketer needs some sort of fortune, be it a dropped catch or half-hearted shot falling in vacant spaces, to go his way, which will indeed help the batsman in learning from his mistakes and building a strong foundation to capitalise later. The history of the sport has seen several centurians, who had the lady luck smiling at them and the reprieve earned helped them in smashing one of the memorable knocks of their lifetime. We will be focusing on such prolific century-makers in the present article. In the below piece, we look at 5 batsmen to score most centuries in their first 150 Test innings:

1. Sir Donald Bradman – 29

Arguably the greatest batsman to have ever played the game of cricket, Bradman scored 29 tons in his first 80 innings. He was way beyond any batsman of his generation as he amassed runs for fun and seldom did we not see him scoring a daddy hundred.

His compatriots, opposition players and even the spectators were awestruck witnessing the manner in which he scored his runs. Going against some of the tallest, skilful and peculiar bowlers, facing who was a mystery and challenge for many, Bradman still found a way to garner runs and that too at a fair clip.

Though not the most elegant going around, Bradman’s superior batsmanship won the world over and there were hardly any, who wouldn’t fathom the charisma and aura that surrounded him. The great batsman had stroked 6996 runs from 52 Tests at an average of 99.94.

2. Sachin Tendulkar – 29

The Little Master had slammed 29 centuries in his first 150 Test innings. Tendulkar was easily the most complete batsman of his time, who didn’t fear going against the best in the business.

The prolific right-hander scored runs against every possible opposition in world cricket and the most skilful of bowlers hesitated bowling to him. Tendulkar had all the qualities asked of an ideal batsman, which included the right balance, nimble foot movement, precision in stroke-making and timing.

The back-foot punches, front-foot drives or the dancing down the wickets to spinners, every Tendulkar stroke had class written over it and that helped him in constructing a phenomenal career for himself. It isn’t an exaggeration when supporters and fans call him the ‘God of Cricket’ for the man has earned every bit of it through his hard work and dedication.

Tendulkar had blasted 15921 runs from 200 Tests at an average of 53.78 and has 51 centuries to his name.

3. Steven Smith – 27

The current best batsman in the Australian circuit, Smith took 139 Test innings to score his 27 centuries. His journey to becoming the no.1 Test batsman was an enthralling one and will indeed act as an inspiration for many aspiring cricketers.

Having started the game as a leg-spinner, who batted lower down the order, Smith made multiple technical tweaks to his batsmanship to become the prolific batsman that we know now. Though still not technically sound, Smith has found a way to score runs with his unique stance and trigger movement.

His shuffle across to the off-side at the time of delivering the ball assists him in making the right contact with the ball and dispatching it to the boundary if needed. The unconventional batsman is equally adept against pace and spin, driving and pulling against the former and using his feet against the latter. Smith has so far, carted 7540 runs from 77 Tests at an average of 61.80.

4. Virat Kohli – 27 centuries

The current best batsman across the three formats, Kohli too has scored 27 tons in his first 150 Test innings. The Delhi batsman’s rise as a cricketer and heartthrob of the nation has been awe-inspiring and we surely won’t get a better match-winner and global icon like Kohli.

The classical batsman had all the shots in the book when he first burst onto the scene during the U-19 World Cup of 2008. Unfortunately, he lacked the technical aspect and temperament needed to make it big at the international level.

After working for months behind the scenes and also reducing the excess weight, becoming strong and chiselled, Kohli returned as a completely new version of himself, way ahead of the game and his opponents. The rate at which he is progressing, it won’t be early if we predict him to break all the esteemed records set by his idol, Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli has accumulated 7463 runs from 89 Tests at an average of 52.92.

5. Matthew Hayden – 26 centuries

The hard-hitting southpaw from Australia, Hayden had scored 26 tons in his first 150 Test innings. As mentioned, the Queensland batsman was all about power and timing, who in literal sense, bludgeoned the ball to the boundary rope. Once he hit them, they stayed hit.

Hayden formed a successful opening pair with fellow southpaw, Langer, who both loved to free their arms and collect boundaries on the off-side. His aggressive display at the top of the order made light work of the opposition bowlers, who hoped for the batsman to make a mistake and lose his scalp.

His hell for leather approach also assisted the illustrious Australian middle order, who could build their innings on the foundation laid by Hayden and propel the side to daunting totals in the first innings. The credit for his international success has to go to skippers like Waugh and Ponting, who gave him the freedom to express himself at the top. The left-hander had smacked 8625 runs from 103 Tests at an average of 50.73.

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