England skipper Joe Root became the first cricketer to score a double century in his 100th Test, reaching the milestone on the second day of the first Test against India in Chennai on Saturday.
The 30-year-old reached his double hundred when he lofted India’s ace spinner Ashwin Ravichandran for a six over long-on in the second session on day two of the series-opener.
England ended the day two at an imposing 555/8, built around Root’s 218 that was result of a near nine-hour effort in which he faced 377 balls.
Follow Scroll.in’s coverage of India vs England here.
After becoming the ninth batsman in Test cricket to score a century in his 100th Test, Root’s sensational innings saw him create history with his double century. Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, who hit 184 against India in Bengaluru in 2005, held the previous best score by a player in a 100th Test.
Root’s 218-run knock ended when he was trapped in front of the wicket by spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. This was Root’s fifth double century.
He joined the likes of compatriot Alastair Cook, South Africa’s Graeme Smith and India’s Rahul Dravid, who all have five double tons.
On Friday, Root had added his name to an elite list for scoring a ton on his 100th appearance when he brought up his 20th hundred. That also meant he was the first batsman to score a century in his 98th, 99th and 100th Test. In the just-concluded 2-0 series sweep over Sri Lanka, Root amassed 426 runs in four innings at an average of 106.50 including two centuries with a high score of 228.
Centuries in 100th Test match
|Cowdrey||104||England||v Australia||Birmingham||11 Jul 1968|
|Miandad||145||Pakistan||v India||Lahore||1 Dec 1989|
|Greenidge||149||West Indies||v England||St John's||12 Apr 1990|
|Stewart||105||England||v West Indies||Manchester||3 Aug 2000|
|Inzamam||184||Pakistan||v India||Bengaluru||24 Mar 2005|
|Ponting||120||Australia||v South Africa||Sydney||2 Jan 2006|
|Ponting||143*||Australia||v South Africa||Sydney||2 Jan 2006|
|G Smith||131||South Africa||v England||The Oval||19 Jul 2012|
|Amla||134||South Africa||v Sri Lanka||Johannesburg||12 Jan 2017|
|Root||218||England||v India||Chennai||5 Feb 2021|
Most double centuries in Tests
|Player||No of 200s in Test matches|
|Hammond, Jayawardene, Kohli||7|
|Atapattu, Sehwag, Miandad, Younis, Ponting, Tendulkar||6|
|Root, G Smith, Dravid, Cook||5|
During the course of the innings, Root went past Alec Stewart in the list of leading English run-scorers. “As long as he does not suffer serious injury there is no reason why he cannot beat [Sachin] Tendulkar’s all-time record of 15,921,” Geoffrey Boycott had said ahead of the series.
There have been other batsmen in this situation before but they didn’t get that far, but Root certainly is on track given the volume of Tests England play.
Most runs by an Englishman in Tests
Root (3,873 runs) also went past Mike Atherton on the list of most prolific English captains in Test cricket with only Cook (4,844) ahead of him.
Root’s innings in Chennai was the second highest score of all time by a visiting captain in India.
Highest Test scores in India by an away batsman
|Lloyd (WI)||242*||Mumbai||23 Jan 1975|
|Root (ENG)||218||Chennai||5 Feb 2021|
|Cook (ENG)||190||Kolkata||5 Dec 2012|
|Kallicharran (WI)||187||Mumbai||1 Dec 1978|
|Inzamam (PAK)||184||Bengaluru||24 Mar 2005|
No England batsmen has now scored more in an innings in India or Sri Lanka. And the top three in that list below were all scored by the captains in that match.
Highest scores by ENG batsmen in Asia Tests
|Cook||263||v Pakistan||Abu Dhabi||13 Oct 2015|
|Root||228||v Sri Lanka||Galle||14 Jan 2021|
|Root||218||v India||Chennai||5 Feb 2021|
As it turns out, Chennai is a happy hunting ground for English batsman in a sense because three of their highest scores in the country have come in that city.
England batsmen's highest Test scores in India
|Root||218||Chennai||5 Feb 2021|
|Gatting||207||Chennai||13 Jan 1985|
|Fowler||201||Chennai||13 Jan 1985|
|Cook||190||Kolkata||5 Dec 2012|
|Pietersen||186||Mumbai||23 Nov 2012|
Only Virat Kohli (7), Brian Lara (5), Don Bradman (4), Michael Clarke (4), and Graeme Smith (4) have scored more double centuries as captains. No English captain has scored more than two Test double centuries.
English captain to score 200s in Test cricket
And just one final nugget that sums up the purple patch that Root finds himself in.