Consistency is key in Test cricket, both individually and for the team. In the five-day format, scoring a century is the result of hours of toiling on the cricket field and sustaining concentration throughout. Hence, sometimes, it could be arduous for a cricketer to procure Test centuries consistently. However, there have been a few who have made this feat possible on back-to-back instants. In this article, we take a look at six Indian players who have scored the most number of consecutive centuries in Tests.
6) Virat Kohli – 3 Consecutive Centuries
Vs Sri Lanka at Kolkata: 104* (3rd Innings) in Nov 2017 || vs Sri Lanka at Nagpur: 213 (2nd Innings) in Nov 2017 || vs Sri Lanka at Delhi: 243 (1st Innings) in Dec 2017
It is the current Indian captain Virat Kohli who is the most recent addition to this list of Indian players who have scored the most number of consecutive centuries in Tests. When Sri Lanka toured India in 2017, Virat made centuries in all three games. Overall, in that series, the prolific-run scorer accumulated 610 runs at an average of 152.20. India won that series 1-0.
Already India’s most successful Test captain, Virat has made close to 7500 runs in the five-day format and will be looking to touch the five-figure mark in the coming years.
5) Vinod Kambli – 3 Consecutive Centuries
Vs England at Mumbai: 224 (2nd Innings) in Feb 1993 || vs Zimbabwe at Delhi: 227 (1st Innings) in Mar 1993 || vs Sri Lanka at Colombo: 125 (1st Innings) in Jul 1993
Vinod Kambli’s Test career started on a good note but did not last long. In his first seven Tests itself, the flashy cricketer scored two double-centuries and two centuries. He made his debut in 1993, and he scored three consecutive centuries during the same year only.
However, owing to indiscipline and technical issues, Kambli could not survive long in the big stage. The Mumbai cricketer played his last Test match even before he turned 24.
4) Sunil Gavaskar – 3 Consecutive Centuries (Achieved on two occasions)
Vs West Indies at Bridgetown: 117* (4th Innings) in Apr 1971 || vs West Indies at Port of Spain: 124 (1st Innings) in Apr 1971 || vs West Indies at Port of Spain: 220 (3rd Innings) in Apr 1971
Vs Pakistan at Karachi: 111 (1st Innings) in Nov 1978 || vs Pakistan at Karachi: 137 (3rd Innings) in Nov 1978 || vs Pakistan at Mumbai: 205 (1st Innings) in Dec 1978
The first Indian to score 10000 runs in Tests, Sunil Gavaskar is still the country’s third-highest run-getter in the five-day format. The opener was a legendary cricketer for the country, and he scored three consecutive centuries in Tests on two occasions.
Gavaskar made his Test debut in 1971, and in his debut season itself, he made three consecutive centuries, that too against the mighty West Indies attack. He repeated the feat seven years later, although it was in the subcontinent on this event. However, India did not win any of these games.
3) Polly Umrigar – 3 Consecutive Centuries
Vs Pakistan at Chennai: 117 (2nd Innings) in Jan 1961 || vs Pakistan at Delhi: 112 (1st Innings) in Feb 1961 || vs England at Kanpur: 147* (1st Innings) in Dec 1961
The first Indian to hit a Test double century, Polly Umrigar held most of India’s batting records when he retired. However, all of it was overtaken, a few years later, by Sunil Gavaskar.
A former captain, Umrigar was the second entrant to the list of Indians who scored three consecutive centuries. He did that in the Indian cities of Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi. India drew the game in all these three encounters.
2) Vijay Hazare – 3 Consecutive Centuries
Vs West Indies at Mumbai: 122 (4th Innings) in Feb 1949 || vs West Indies at Delhi: 164* (2nd Innings) in Nov 1951 || vs England at Mumbai: 155 (1st Innings) in Dec 1951
Although he is part of this list, Hazare was known more for his record in Australia after India’s independence. In the country’s first tour to Australia, the player scored a century in each innings of the Adelaide Test. Though India lost, Hazare’s effort brought respect to India’s performance.
Averaging 47.65 in 30 Tests, the right-hand batsman scored 2192 runs, including seven centuries and nine fifties. He also picked 20 wickets with his medium-paced bowling.
1) Rahul Dravid – 4 Consecutive Centuries
Vs England at Nottingham: 115 (3rd Innings) in Aug 2002 || vs England at Leeds: 148 (1st Innings) in Aug 2002 || vs England at the Oval: 217 (2nd Innings) in Sep 2002 || vs West Indies at Mumbai: 100* (1st Innings) in Oct 2002
One of the few three players to score four consecutive Test centuries, Rahul Dravid tops this list of six Indian players who have scored the most number of consecutive centuries in Tests.
Around Dravid’s era, travel to England was always considered a nightmare. Let alone winning a game, even drawing a match was sometimes difficult. However, on every occasion, Dravid was in good form. In the second, third and fourth Tests of India’s Tour of England in 2002, Dravid scored a century and helped India salvage two draws and a memorable win at Leeds. He then scored a 100 in the first Test of the subsequent home series to become the first Indian to achieve the feat.