Wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant on Sunday etched his name into history books as he scored the fastest fifty by an Indian in Test cricket.

The swashbuckling southpaw completed his half-century in just 28 balls against Sri Lanka during their second innings of the second Test at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

With his blitzkrieg fifty, Pant broke Kapil Dev's 40-year-old record as he registered the fastest fifty by an Indian in 30 balls against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982. His effort, however, went in vain as Pakistan won the match by an innings and 86 runs.

Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur has scored the third-fastest Test fifty by an Indian during the first innings of the fourth Test against England at The Oval in 2021. It took the 29-year-old just 31 balls to score his second half-century in Test cricket. 

Walking in to bat at No. 8 with India reeling at 117/6, Shardul took the England bowlers to the cleaners. He hit seven fours and three sixes and finished his innings with 57 runs in 36 balls. Eventually, it was an intelligent review by England that sent him back to the pavilion after he was trapped in front of the stumps.

Shardul had only made it to the starting XI at the expense of Mohammed Shami, who missed the match due to some minor niggles and he made every moment count. He put together an important 63-run partnership with Umesh Yadav as India scored 191 runs in the first innings. 

Quite interestingly, en-route to his blitzkrieg half-century, Shardul broke Sir Ian Botham’s record of fastest Test fifty in England. Botham had achieved the feat by reaching his half-century off just 32 deliveries in 1986 at the same venue. The record stood for 35 years until the Mumbai-lad broke it. 

Shardul knock saw him go past legendary opener Virender Sehwag, who had scored his Test fifty in 32 balls against England in 2008 and was in second spot for fastest fifties in red-ball cricket by Indians.

Fastest fifty by an Indian in Test cricket





Rishabh Pant


Sri Lanka


Kapil Dev




Shardul Thakur




Virender Sehwag




Overall, Misbah-ul-Haq’s record of a 21-ball fifty against Australia in 2014 is still the number to beat. After Misbah, the likes of David Warner (23 balls), Jacques Kallis (24 balls), Shane Shillingford (25 balls) and Shahid Afridi (26) complete the top five list of fastest half-century in Test cricket in terms of balls faced.

Featured photo: Manjunath KIRAN / AFP