R Kaushik provides us with an insight into the history of triple centuries in Test cricket. He also looks at how batting in Test cricket has evolved over the past two decades, and how that, in turn, has influenced the approach to batting in the game's longest format.
Nair’s is perhaps the most unlikely of the 26 names that occupy a club that has welcomed as many members in the last 15 years as it did in the first 124. It wasn’t until April 4, 1930, that Test cricket had its first 300-plus man when Englishman Andy Sandham, a young 39 then, piled up 325 against West Indies in Kingston. For some reason, that triggered a spate of triples in the 1930s, which produced five three-tons.
Nair has gone where several of the game’s most celebrated names haven’t – Gavaskar and Dravid and Tendulkar and Laxman among Indians, the Chappell brothers and Ponting among Aussies, the mighty Richards from the Caribbean, Pakistanis Miandad and Zaheer, Kiwi legend Martin Crowe… But he is also in spectacular company – Bradman and Sehwag and Lara and Gayle (all twice), Sobers and Hutton, Inzamam and Hammond, Sangakkara and Jayawardene, among others. And yet, a week back, who would have thunk?
Strike-rate? Hello? Wasn’t it only a couple of months back that Anil Kumble, the Anil Kumble, had said that as far as he was concerned, strike-rates only went in the same sentence as bowlers? That, in Test cricket, they shouldn’t really be the yardstick to measure the value and quality of a batsman? And yet, you cast your eyes on the triple-centurions in the last 15 years, and the one thing that stands out is the rate at which they have scored their runs throughout their careers.
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