5 Cricketers who had a larger gap between two consecutive Test centuries

Centuries are those diamonds which adorn the cricketing career of a player, predominantly a batsman. Every player craves for the dream run which includes a series of centuries and several game-changing knocks. While the prospect is highly fascinating and inspiring, it is not always possible given the changing dynamics of the sport. Apart from this, there are various other factors which restrict a player from fulfilling his most desired dream and thus, the expectations and assumptions made stay limited to our minds or the paper but never quite materialize.

Cricketers of yesteryears had to endure plenty of uncontrollable factors like the World War, political turmoil etc. before they could carve a remarkable career for themselves. Given the lost time, it is but natural for a player to give up on the sport which once meant life for them, but for these gentlemen, they were nothing but minor hurdles in their blossoming career. The start-stop sequence didn’t have much bearing on their passion and dedication towards the sport and instead, the gap augmented their hunger for runs and brought the best out of them. In the below piece, we look at 5 such cricketers, who had a larger gap between two Test centuries due to certain unforeseen situations

1. Warren Bardsley – 5093

This terrific opening batsman for Australia holds the record for the longest gap between two Test centuries which also includes the 1st World War period from 1914 to 1920. The southpaw didn’t play any test for 8 years from 1912 to 1920.

The first of that hundred came against South Africa during the 5th Test of a Triangular tournament contested in England in 1912 where Bardsley struck a wonderful 164 which helped Australia in reaching 390 in their first innings.  While the next century came after 5093 days during the 2nd Test of the Ashes series also contested in England in 1926. The visitors posted 383 in their first innings on the back of a superb 193 by Bardsley.

2. Syed Mushtaq Ali – 4544

The flamboyant opening batsman for India occupies the second spot on this list, who took 4544 days to score two of his consecutive Test centuries which also included the 10-years gap caused by World War 2.

Ali’s first century came during the second innings of the 2nd Test against England at Manchester in 1936 where his valiant 112 tied the game for the visitors. The next of the lot also came during the second innings of the 3rd Test against the Windies at Eden Gardens in 1949 where Ali scored 106 to tie the game for the hosts.

3. Fawad Alam – 4218

The recent addition to the list after he scored an unforgettable century-spanning 11 long years for Pakistan with an awkward open-chested stance. The first of them came during the second innings of the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 2009. Alam scored a gritty 168 albeit in a losing cause as the hosts won the game by 7 wickets.

The next century came on the penultimate day of 2020 while chasing a total of 373 against a quality Kiwi pace attack. Alam’s 102 provided some hope to be finally shattered as Pakistan were bundled out for 271, losing the 1st game of the series by a whopping 101 runs.

4. Frank Woolley – 3999

Considered as one of the greatest English all-rounders to have graced the game, Woolley took 3999 days to score his next hundred after having scored it in 1912. The first of which came during the first innings of the 5th Test against Australia at the SCG in 1912. Woolley’s 133 helped England reach 324 which made way for a superb victory by the visitors by a comfortable 70 runs.

The next century came after 11 years which also included a gap of 6-years due to World War 1, during the second innings of the 4th Test against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1923. Woolley’s unbeaten 115 helped England post 376-6 and set a target of 326 for the hosts, who could not chase it and the game ended in a draw.

5. Upul Tharanga – 3888

Unlike his consistent performances in the ODI set-up, Tharanga could not quite be his own at the Test arena. The first century came during the first innings of the 2nd Test against Bangladesh at Bogra in 2006. Tharanga’s 165 helped Sri Lanka post 316 which indeed paved the way to their victory, chasing 120 with utter ease.

The southpaw had to wait for another 10 years for his next, who lost his place owing to inconsistency. The 2nd hundred came during the first innings of 1st Test against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2016. Owing to Tharanga’s 110, Sri Lanka posted 537 which then went a long way in them winning the game by 225 runs, having demolished the opposition for 186 while chasing 417.

Back to top button