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Batsmen with the Fastest Double Centuries in Test Cricket History

Suresh Iyer
December 9, 2021, 10:26
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Batsmen with the Fastest Double Centuries in Test Cricket History

In 2002, New Zealand’s top order batter Nathan Astle scored a double ton in 153 balls and set a record for the fastest double century in test cricket that has remained unbroken to this day. In this article we look at a list of the fastest Test double centuries.

1. Nathan Astle (153 balls)

New Zealand’s top order batter Nathan Astle holds the record for the fastest 200 in test cricket. He achieved the feat in 153 balls in March 2002 against England in Christchurch. In that game, England batted first and were bowled out for 228. In reply, New Zealand made only 147. In their second knock, England declared their innings closed at 468/7. Chasing a target of 567, the hosts were reduced to 119/3, when Astle took guard at the crease. With the score reading 333 for 9, Astle set about the England bowlers, smashing them all around the park in a last wicket stand of 118 with Chris Cairns. Though New Zealand lost the match, Astle created history with a stunning innings of 222 runs off 168 balls that featured 11 sixes and 28 fours.

2. Ben Stokes (163 balls)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes came closest to beating Nathan Astle’s record in January 2016 when he scored 200 runs from 163 balls versus South Africa, in the 2nd match of a 4-test series in Cape Town. England batted first and lost 4 wickets with only 167 runs on the board, when Stokes came in to bat. He shared a 56-run 5th-wicket stand with Root before Bairstow joined him at the crease for a 399-run stand for the 6th wicket. Stokes was eventually out for 258 from 198 balls, including 11 sixes and 30 fours. In the process, he helped England to a score of 629/6 declared, before the match ended in a high-scoring draw.

3. Virender Sehwag (168 Balls)

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag smashed the fastest double century by an Indian batsman at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium against the visiting Sri Lanka team in December 2009. In the 3rd match of a series, Sri Lanka who batted first were dismissed for 393. India began their reply in dominant fashion with the openers – Sehwag and Vijay — putting together a first wicket stand of 221. After Vijay got out, Dravid joined Sehwag at the crease and the pair added 237 for the 2nd wicket. The partnership was broken when Sehwag was dismissed for 293 runs made from 254 deliveries, including 7 sixes and 40 fours. India rode Sehwag’s knock to declare at 726/9 before going on to win the match by an innings and 24 runs.

Batsmen with the Fastest Double Centuries in Test Cricket History

4. Virender Sehwag (182 Balls)

India’s Virender Sehwag had another go at breaking the record for the fastest double century in test cricket when he reached the mark in just 182 balls. India and Pakistan faced off in the first match of a series in Lahore, in January 2006. On a batting-friendly track, Pakistan batted first and piled up a score of 679/7 declared. If the Pakistan bowlers dreamed of victory, Sehwag had other ideas. Opening the batting, Sehwag and Dravid added 410 runs for the first wicket before Sehwag was dismissed and the match called off in failing light on the final day. Sehwag made 254 from 247 balls, including a six and 47 fours.

5. Brendon McCullum (186 balls)

In November 2014, New Zealander Brendon McCullum made 202 from 188 balls, setting a record for the 2nd fastest double ton in tests by a Kiwi batter. In the 3rd test of a series in the UAE, between Pakistan and New Zealand, Pakistan batted first and scored 351. After a 51-run stand for the first wicket with Latham, McCullum was joined by Williamson. The pair registered a 297-run stand for the 2nd wicket that ended when McCullum was dismissed. His innings that included 11 sixes and 21 fours helped NZ to an innings victory.

6. Virender Sehwag (194 balls)

India’s Virender Sehwag features for the third time on the list of batters with the fastest double tons in test cricket. In March 2008, India and South Africa met in the first match of a series, in Chennai. SA took first batting and scored 540. India began strongly with a first wicket stand of 213 between Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer. After Jaffer was dismissed, Sehwag got together with Dravid in a 268-run partnership for the second wicket. The stand ended when Sehwag got out for 319 from 304 balls, including 5 sixes and 42 fours. Riding on Sehwag’s innings, India scored 627 in a drawn game.

7. Herschelle Gibbs (211 balls)

In January 2003, former South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs scored 200 from 211 deliveries in Cape Town versus the Pakistan tourists. Batting first, Gibbs and Smith added 368 runs for the first wicket before Smith was dismissed. It was Gibbs turn to return to the pavilion with the scoreboard reading 413 for 2 but not before he had smashed 6 sixes and 29 fours. SA rode Gibbs’ innings to a score of 620/7 declared, helping themselves to an innings win in the bargain.

Batsmen with the Fastest Double Centuries in Test Cricket History

8. Adam Gilchrist (212 balls)

In February 2002, Australian keeper-batter Adam Gilchrist made an unbeaten 204 from 212 balls versus South Africa at Jo’burg in the first match of a series. Coming to bat after Australia had lost five wickets for 293, Gilchrist got together with Damien Martyn in a 317-run stand for the 6th wicket. Australia made 652/7 declared on the back of Gilchrist’s innings and went on to register an innings victory.

9. Ian Botham (220 Balls)

In July 1982, England allrounder Ian Botham smashed 208 from 226 balls versus India at the Oval, in London. In the process, he set a record for the fastest double ton in tests, measured by the number of balls faced. Coming to the crease after England had lost 3 wickets of 185, Botham was involved in successive stands of 176 and 151 with Allan Lamb and Derek Randall, helping England to a score of 594. After India replied with 410, the match ended in a stalemate.

10. Chris Gayle (221 Balls)

Former West Indies opener Chris Gayle smashed 333 runs from 437 deliveries versus Sri Lanka at Galle in November 2010. Helped by partnerships with Barath, Bravo and Chanderpaul, Gayle’s innings featured 9 sixes and 34 fours. West Indies declared at 566/6 when Gayle was out and imposed the follow on. But after Sri Lanka made 378 and 241/4 in their two knocks, the match ended in a draw.

 Top 14 Players who have scored the fastest double centuries in test cricket history
Sr no. Player, team Balls faced Rival team Venue, year
1 Nathan Astle (New Zealand) 153 England Christchurch, 2001-02
2 Ben Stokes (England) 163 South Africa Cape Town, 2015-16
3 Virender Sehwag (India) 168 Sri Lanka Mumbai, 2009-10
4 Virender Sehwag (India) 182 Pakistan Lahore, 2005-06
5 Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) 186 Pakistan Sharjah, 2014-15
6 Virender Sehwag (India) 194 South Africa Chennai, 2008-09
7 Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) 211 Pakistan Cape Town, 2002-03
8 Adam Gilchrist (Australia) 212 South Africa Jo’burg, 2001-02
9 Ian Botham (England) 220 India The Oval, 1982
10 Chris Gayle 221 Sri Lanka Galle, 2010-11
11 Virender Sehwag (India) 222 Pakistan Multan, 2003-04
12 Adam Voges (Australia) 226 West Indies Hobart, 2015
13 Virender Sehwag (India) 227 Sri Lanka Galle, 2008
14 Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka) 229 Bangladesh Colombo, 2002

 

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