A triple hundred is considered to be one of the biggest individual achievements in Test cricket. Out of 57595 innings played in Test cricket by players batting from 1 to 7, there have been only 31 instances of an individual scoring a triple ton; which is nearly once in 1857 innings. England’s Andy Sandham was the first triple centurion in international cricket and David Warner is the latest entrant after his 335* against Pakistan.
Here we have a detailed look at some of the interesting facts and stats regarding triple hundreds in Test cricket:
Distribution by Country: Australia have scored the most triple tons in test cricket with as many as 8 Australians achieving the feat, followed by West Indies (6) and England (5). England have conceded the most times (9) and thus involved in most instances (14). Bangladesh and Zimbabwe remain the only nations with more than 10 Tests who are yet to have an individual 300-plus score.
- Progression of highest individual Test score: Andy Sandham, in 1929-30 became the first triple centurion in Test cricket. Before this knock, Reginald Foster’s 287 was the highest Test score. Since the first triple hundred, Garry Sobers’ 365* served as the highest individual score for the longest time period (almost 35 years).
- Distribution by batting positions: More than 50% of the triple tons (16 out of 31) have been scored by openers, 8 by players at number three, 3 from number four and 4 from number five
- Distribution by Venue: England and West Indies have witnessed seven triple tons each, Australia and Pakistan 4 each. Headingly in Leeds and Antigua Recreation Ground in St. John’s have seen three 300s each. Sri Lanka has been the scene for the feat thrice. Triple tons have been scored in India and New Zealand twice each and once each in Bangladesh and UAE.
- Distribution by decade: Nearly two-thirds of the 300-plus scores (20 out of 31) have been scored in the last three decades; 8 each in the 2000s and 2010s and 4 in the 1990s. 1930s proved to be a good period for batting too, with as many as 5 triple tons being scored in the decade.
- Home-away distribution: Only 11 out of 31 triple tons have been scored in overseas conditions (UAE is considered as home for Pakistan). Hanif Mohammad’s 337 v West Indies is the highest overseas Test score, while Hashim Amla’s 311* v England is the highest overseas Test score in a winning cause.
- 300s in Winning cause: 13 triple hundreds have resulted in wins while 18 have been scored on drawn occasions. No single team has lost after one of the batsmen scoring a triple hundred.
- Lefties and Righties: 12 of the 31 triple hundreds have been scored by left-handers. The left-handers have held the record for the highest individual Test score since Garry Sobers’ 365* in 1957-58.
- The Fastest tons: Virender Sehwag holds the record for the fastest triple ton in terms of balls faced. He reached the 300-run mark in just 278 balls against South Africa in 2008. In terms of minutes, the record belongs to Wally Hammond who reached his triple hundred in 288 minutes en-route his 336*.
- 300s by Captains: There have been eight instances when a captain scored a 300-plus score. Bob Simpson was the first skipper to achieve the feat, followed by Graham Gooch, Mark Taylor, Brian Lara, Mahela Jayawardene, Younis Khan, Michael Clarke, and Brendon McCullum.
- Multiple Triple tons: There have been four players with two triple centuries to their names; Don Bradman (334 in 1930 and 304 in 1934), Brian Lara (375 in 1993-94 and 400* in 2003-04), Virender Sehwag (309 in 2003-04 and 319 in 2008) and Chris Gayle (317 in 2004-05 and 333 in 2010-11). Virender Sehwag and Don Bradman also have a 290s to their names.
There have been a few heartbreaking near-misses; seven instances to be precise when a batsman was stranded between 290 and 300. Of the seven instances, Don Bradman’s 299* v South Africa is the only time the batsman remained unbeaten.