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.

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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

Player Runs Team Opposition Ground Match Date
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
Bradman  12
Sangakkara 11
Lara  9
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

Player Mat Runs HS Ave 100 50
Cook 161 12472 294 45.35 33 57
Gooch 118 8900 333 42.58 20 46
Root 100 8467 254 50.39 20 49
Stewart 133 8463 190 39.54 15 45
Gower 117 8231 215 44.25 18 39

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

Player Runs Ground Start Date
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

Player Runs Opposition Ground Start Date
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

Player Score Ground Start Date
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

Player Inns HS
Root 3 228
Cook 1 263
Dexter 1 205
Gooch 1 333
Gower 1 215
Hammond 1 240
Hutton 1 205
May 1 285*

And just one final nugget that sums up the purple patch that Root finds himself in.