Batters with Most Centuries in Test Cricket
There are as many as 794 batters who have scored at least one hundred in the history of men’s Test cricket. However, only about 10% of those have gone on to score 15 or more tons. And out of those, a mere 13 have got 30+ tons in their Test careers. Thus, here, we take a look at the batters with the most centuries in Test cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar – 51 Hundreds
Here is a stat that most people around the world would know at the snap of their fingers. It is no secret that Sachin Tendulkar is at the top of the charts when it comes to the most hundreds in Test cricket. The Mumbai-born batting maestro finds himself at the top of most batting records and his records are almost untouchable. There is no one even within close proximity of going past his records. As far as the Test hundreds are concerned, Tendulkar smashed 51 tons in his Test career that lasted for 24 long years in which he featured in 200 Test matches. He averaged 53.78 and amassed a staggering 15921 runs. Tendulkar played at least one Test match in 25 calendar years and he got at least one ton in 18 of those.
Jacques Kallis – 45 Hundreds
Jacques Kallis was supremely consistent with both bat and ball and he could walk into any side in the world purely as a batter or a bowler. Such was the impact the South African pace-bowling all-rounder could have on the game. Kallis could mould his batting according to the situation of the game and could adapt beautifully. He had the knack of producing the big tons regularly and he scored 45 hundreds in his Test career which is the second-most in the history of the game. He had an average of 55.37 with the bat and scored 13289 runs (third-most) in Test cricket. At one point, there was a feeling that he may go past Tendulkar’s record of 51 hundreds but he retired when he was six short.
Ricky Ponting – 41 Hundreds
Ricky Ponting is one of the only three batters to have recorded 40+ Test hundreds in Test cricket. He ranks third on this list of the most centuries in Test history. The former Australian skipper was a run-machine and he churned out runs for fun, batting at No. 3. He didn’t get a single ton in his first two years of Test cricket but then picked up the pace magnificently. In fact, there was a phase when Ponting racked up 24 Test hundreds in the span of five years (from 2002 to 2007). By the end of 2008, he had 37 hundreds and it seemed like he was on course to complete the half-century of Test hundreds but his skills waned and his form fell off as well. Eventually, he finished with 41 hundreds in his Test career. He averaged 51.85 and scored 13378 runs which is the second-most.
Kumar Sangakkara – 38 Hundreds
Kumar Sangakkara is arguably one of the greatest players to have played the game for Sri Lanka. The left-handed wicket-keeper-batter is at the top of most batting charts for them and he was dominant for more than 15 years. He smashed 38 hundreds in his Test career which puts him fourth on the list of the most Test hundreds. Among the Sri Lankans, barring Mahela Jayawardene who has 34 Test tons, no other batter even comes close. Sangakkara aggregated 12400 runs at an average of 57.40. While he had the fourth-most hundreds, Sangakkara ended his career with the second-most double hundreds in the history of Test cricket – 11, only one behind the great Sir Don Bradman. In the 16 calendar years that Sangakkara played Test cricket, he notched up at least one hundred in 14 of those years and 2000 and 2004 were the only years where he couldn’t get a hundred,
Rahul Dravid – 36 Hundreds
Rahul Dravid was India’s crisis man. Irrespective of the situation, the Karnataka cricketer always stepped up and delivered under pressure. He was the rock of the Indian Test lineup at No. 3 and was nicknamed ‘The Wall’. Dravid played 164 Test matches and scored 36 hundreds which puts him fifth on this list of most Test hundreds. He played Test cricket in as many as 10 nations and he got at least one ton in each of those 10 Test-playing nations. Moreover, there were only two calendar years (1996 – first and 2012 – last) that Dravid couldn’t get a Test ton. Such was his consistency.
Younis Khan, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, Mahela Jayawardene – 34 Hundreds
There are as many as four players who are next on the list and all of them have the same number of hundreds, i.e. 34 Test tons. Younis Khan, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, and Mahela Jayawardene – all of them have scored 34 hundreds in their respective Test careers.
Younis is one of the best Test batters to have donned the Pakistan jersey and he scored 10099 at an average of 52.05. He scored more hundreds (34) than fifties (33) which underlines his conversion rate. Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar was a batting icon for India and he was the first player to scale the 10000-run mark in the history of Test cricket. He scored 34 hundreds in his Test career which at one point was the most by any batter in the history of the game.
Brian Lara was an integral part of the West Indian batting lineup throughout the 1990s and a large part of 2000s. He dominated world cricket and was regarded as one of the best batters of his generation alongside Tendulkar. At one point, the stylish left-hander was the leading run-getter in Test cricket before Tendulkar overtook him. Mahela Jayawardene may not come across as the most dominant batter but he was extremely successful and consistent. He is placed at No. 9 on the list of the most runs in Test cricket – 11814 runs and joint-sixth on the list of the most hundreds – 34.