Slow but steady innings from a single batsman can take his team out of disquiet in Test cricket.
Think of Test cricket and the first thing that pops to mind is the tranquillity the format brings along with it. The introduction of T20 cricket might have changed the approach of modern-day cricketers, yet the fact remains that not everyone can cope with the mentality that the longest format requires.
Test cricket may very well be tedious at times, but it still demands composure from everyone associated in the game. Thanks to the concept of a draw, slow but steady innings from a single batsman can take his team out of disquiet. That said, we give you five slowest centuries in Test cricket (in terms of minutes played).
Sanjay Manjrekar - Took 500 minutes against Zimbabwe in 1992
It was during India's only Test against Zimbabwe in October 1992 that Sanjay Manjrekar scored the fifth slowest century in Test cricket.
Zimbabwe had scored a whopping 456 in the first innings, and India needed a quality start to churn out anything positive from the game. Contrary to what was expected, the top-order collapsed, and by the time they had 219 runs on board, India had lost seven wickets. The only positive at the time was a certain Sanjay Manjrekar, who took 500 minutes to score his ton while facing 397 balls. India were eventually bowled out on Day 5, and now that there wasn't much time left, Zimbabwe decided to bat through the rest of the day to play out a draw.
Jeff Crowe - Took 516 minutes against Sri Lanka in 1987
Jeff Crowe captained New Zealand's Test team on six different occasions. The first one came against Sri Lanka in 1987 when he scored the fourth slowest Test ton. This knock, ironically, was also his third and last century in Test cricket. The home side put on 397/9d runs on the board, riding on the back of Brendon Kuruppu's double hundred. In response, the Kiwis lost their opening order quite early, finding themselves in a state of despair at 99/4.
This is when Crowe decided to step up and play out one of his finest innings. Taking out his time to settle, the captain completed his ton in 516 minutes and remained unbeaten at 120 off 398 deliveries. He was duly supported by Sir Richard Hadlee, who scored 151 not-out, as the game was drawn.
Asanka Gurusinha - Took 535 minutes against Zimbabwe in 1994
Sri Lanka toured Zimbabwe in October 1994 for a full-fledged Test and ODI series, and it was during the first Test that Asanka Gurusinha scored the third slowest Test century of all time.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, the Lankan Lions lost Roshan Mahanama quite early in the game, but Zimbabwe were duly unaware of what was to follow. Gurusinha combined with Sanjeeva Ranatunga to stitch a 217 run partnership, with both getting a ton. Gurusinha, in particular, took a whopping 535 minutes to reach the landmark before eventually ending his innings at 128 off 461 deliveries.
Zimbabwe's innings was stretched until the last day, and after putting 319/8 on board, the match was drawn.
Jackie McGlew - Took 545 minutes against Australia in 1958
Australia toured South Africa back in January 1958, and during the third Test of the tour, Jackie McGlew gave the visitors a subtle run for their money.
Australia, having won the toss, decided to bat and put a below-par total of 163 onboard, with only captain Ian Craig scoring a half-century. South Africa, on their part, failed to ooze any sort of confidence as their middle-order collapsed like a pack of card. McGlew, however, combined with John Waite to stitch a 231-run stand, with the former scoring a century in 545 minutes.
McGlew was eventually dismissed on 105, after 575 minutes, as his side scored 384. With Australia managing 292/7 on the final day, the match was drawn.
Mudassar Nazar - Took 557 minutes against England in 1977
During the first Test of England's tour of Pakistan in December 1977, Pakistan opener Mudassar Nazar scored 114 off 449 deliveries; an innings which lasted a whopping 591 minutes, which is almost 10 hours.
Pakistan had elected to bat first and despite losing two early wickets, they managed to put 407/9d on board. Nazar, who combined with Haroon Rasheed to steady Pakistan's ship, took 557 minutes to complete his century, which, till date, remains the slowest Test ton of all time.
England, in response, were restricted at 288, and with not much time left, the game was drawn after Pakistan's second innings score of 106/3.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @ICC