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From Anil Kumble to Jason Gillespie: Cricketers who have taken most Test innings before first century

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Legendary India leg-spinner Anil Kumble took the most Test innings before first century.

Having played 132 Test matches for India, Kumble registered his first century in his 151st innings in the longest format of the sport. Coming into bat at number eight, the Karnataka-born cricketer scored an unbeaten 110 against England at The Oval during the third Test of India’s tour of England in 2007.

Kumble’s maiden Test ton helped the visitors post a mammoth 664 in their first innings. In reply, England managed 345 in the first innings before India declared their second innings at 180/6. However, the match ended in a draw after the hosts managed 369/6 in their second innings.

Former Sri Lanka cricketer Chaminda Vaas features second on the list for most Test innings before first century. Vaas took 141 Test innings to score his first century in the format.

In 2007, the tailender smashed his maiden Test century against Bangladesh in the first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo.

After bundling out Bangladesh for 89 in their first innings, Sri Lanka rode on centuries from Michael Vandort (117), captain Mahela Jayawardene (127), Prasanna Jayawardene (120 not out) and Chaminda Vaas (100 not out) to power the hosts to 577/6d. Sri Lanka bowled out Bangladesh for 254 in the tourists’ second innings to secure a victory by an innings and 234 runs.

India cricketer Harbhajan Singh is third on the list for players who have taken the most Test innings before their first century. The off-spinner scored his first Test century in his 122nd innings. 

 

Harbhajan registered his maiden Test ton against New Zealand at the Motera Stadium in 2010. With the hosts reeling at 65 for 6 in their second innings, Harbhajan scored 115 off 193 balls to help India post 266. The match ended in a draw.

Former Australia cricketer Jason Gillespie and ex-Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak complete the top five list for players who have taken the most Test innings before their first century. While Gillespie took 93 innings to score his first Test hundred, Streak needed 91 innings to register his maiden Test ton.

Most Test innings before first century

Player Innings Score Opposition Ground Year
Anil Kumble (India) 151 110* England Kennington Oval 2007
Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka) 141 100* Bangladesh Sinhalese Sports Club 2007
Harbhajan Singh (India) 122 115 New Zealand Narendra Modi Stadium 2010
Jason Gillespie (Australia) 93 201* Bangladesh  Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium 2006
Heath Streak (Zimbabwe) 91 127* West Indies Harare Sports Club 2003
Alistair Campbell (Zimbabwe) 84 102 India Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground 2000
Ian Healy (Australia)  73 102* England Old Trafford 1993
Shaun Pollock (South Africa) 72 111 Sri Lanka SuperSport Park 2001
Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) 70 137* Pakistan Seddon Park 2003
Arthur Nourse (South Africa) 64 111 Australia Old Wanderers 1921

Featured photo: CHRIS YOUNG / SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP

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