There is a common notion that batsmen tend to underperform when they are appointed as a captain. However, time and again, this theory has been proved wrong. A team that enjoys a high win percentage (47) in Tests, Australia has had 46 captains in the five-day format, so far. Let alone scoring centuries consistently, six of these players have scored a century in both Test innings as captain. Till now, overall, only 86 cricketers have managed this feat, and the list includes only 14 who achieved this while having the baggage of captaincy.
1) Ricky Ponting – 3
Opposition: West Indies || Venue: Brisbane || Scores: 149 & 104* || Year: 2005
Opposition: South Africa || Venue: Sydney || Scores: 120 & 143* || Year: 2006
Opposition: South Africa || Venue: Durban || Scores: 103 & 116 || Year: 2006
One of the few six cricketers to score more than 5000 runs as captain, Ricky Ponting achieved the feat on three occasions. The highest test run-scorer for his country, Ponting won 48 Tests as captain, which none of his fellow countrymen was able to emulate.
Regards this record, Ponting achieved this within four months, in successive tournaments. While the first two were in Australia, the third was in South Africa. Aussies won all the games convincingly, and Ponting was the Player of the Match in all three games. After this spectacular show, ICC named him the Test cricketer of the Year 2006.
2) Allan Border – 1
Opposition: New Zealand || Venue: Christchurch || Scores: 140 & 114* || Year: 1986
A man who batted at an average above 50, Allan Border has captained 93 Tests for Australia, more than any other player. The southpaw also scored more runs than Ricky Ponting as captain of Australia’s Test squad.
Although he achieved this feat twice, as a captain, it was only on one occasion. Facing a potent Kiwi attack comprising the likes of Richard Hadlee, Border scored a century in both innings. Had it not been for his performance, Australia could have lost the game, which eventually ended in a draw.
3) Don Bradman – 1
Opposition: India || Venue: Melbourne || Scores: 132 & 127* || Year: 1948
Arguably the greatest batsman ever, Sir Don Bradman‘s stunning average of 99.94 is on the cusp of Test match batting. The legend also captained Australia for 21 games between 1936 and 1948.
India toured Australia for a five-match series after the country’s independence. The Aussies were dominant as they defeated the Indians in four encounters. Bradman, who was the captain of Australia for that tournament, joined the list of players who have scored a century in both Test innings as captain. Interestingly, while Bradman batted at No.3 in the first innings, he played at No.6 in the second.
4) Greg Chappell – 1
Opposition: West Indies || Venue: Brisbane || Scores: 123 & 109* || Year: 1975
The former coach of the Indian Cricket Team was a prolific scorer during his era. While he scored a century in both his first and last Test, Greg also twice scored a century in both innings of a game. In fact, on his captaincy debut, too, Greg got a century in both innings.
Australia’s No.4 batted with authority as he tackled the relentless West Indian attack in his own way. His second-innings century was brilliant, as it came in a successful chase of 219 runs.
5) Ian Chappell – 1
Opposition: New Zealand || Venue: Wellington || Scores: 145 & 121 || Year: 1974
When Greg Chappell first scored a century in both innings in the 1974 game against New Zealand, his brother Ian Chappell had also achieved the feat in the same game. Ian was the captain of his side for this encounter.
A 264 run partnership by the brothers helped Australia set the tone with over 500 runs on board. The Kiwis came back strongly, getting all-out for 484. It was important for the Aussies to reply back, and it was the brothers who were at it again. They guided Australia to a score of 460 and the game ended in a draw.
6) Bob Simpson – 1
Opposition: Pakistan || Venue: Karachi || Scores: 153 & 115 || Year: 1964
The captain of Australia during the 60s and the 70s, Bob Simpson was at the helm for 39 games, out of which he was able to come out on top on 12 instances. Initially starting out as an all-rounder, Simpson saw his career graduate, eventually settling down as an opening batsman.
One of the best players of spin at that time, Simpson did extremely well to score a century in both innings on the spinning track at Karachi. He helped Australia pull off a draw against Pakistan in this match.