Test Cricket is often regarded as the pinnacle among all the formats in cricket. Players that tend to do well in the longest form of the game develop a high value in the eyes of the cricket fraternity. The format which is played over a period of five days is not merely a test of one’s skills but also challenges one’s mental thinking with periods of attritional play during a Test match.
Scoring a ton in a Test match is no easy feat. Players who get an opportunity to represent their country in whites, always relish the moment, especially their debut game. Batters aim to score a ton in the most traditional format of the game. However, not everyone succeeds to claim the glorious three-figure mark. Playing against some of the best in the world, a Test centurion earns a special place in cricketing history.
However, there have been a few who have gone a step ahead in converting their maiden Test centuries into a triple ton. Here, we take a look at 3 such players who have achieved this elusive feat in Test cricket:
1. Garry Sobers (West Indies) vs Pakistan in 1958:
Arguably the greatest all-rounder of all-time, Sir Garfield Sobers was the first batsman in history to convert his maiden Test century into a triple century. While playing against Pakistan in 1958, the all-rounder was in fine form as he scored a majestic 365 not out at Kingston in Jamaica. Batting first, Pakistan could only manage 328 in their first innings, and in reply, the hosts plundered 790 runs for the loss of 3 wickets.
It was a herculean effort from the Caribbean side as they posted the then third-highest team total in Test cricket. Riding on the back of mammoth partnership between Sobers and opener Conrad Hunte, West Indies battered Pakistan to beat them by a margin of an innings and 174 runs. Sobers, who batted for nearly 614 minutes was the chief tormentor as he scored his maiden Test century and went on to later register his first triple ton in Test cricket.
2. Bob Simpson (Australia) vs England in 1964:
The retired Australian opening batsman, Bob Simpson didn’t leave any stone unturned during the fourth Test in 1964 Ashes on the English soil. Leading the Australian side, Simpson won the toss on a placid track at Old Trafford and made the English pay the price. He opened the innings with Bill Lawry and counted made the most of the tailor-made conditions for batting.
Despite losing his partner after a 201-run opening stand, Bob continued his reign his supremacy over the hosts as he registered his maiden Test century in Manchester. However, it was a god-send opportunity and the visiting captain didn’t disappoint his team. He went onto convert his ton into a triple before finishing off for 311 runs off 743 deliveries. It was the highest Test score and the first among his other nine Test centuries.
3. Karun Nair (India) vs England in Chennai, 2016:
After having won the 5-match Test series 3-0, India reached Chennai to face England in the fifth and final Test of the series in 2016. On a slow track, England won the toss posted 477 in their first innings. In response, India recorded their highest-ever Test team total before declaring their innings for 759 runs.
It was a game to remember for Karun Nair as he became only the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to go past the 300-run mark in Test cricket. It was Karun’s maiden Test ton which he converted to score a maiden triple in his Test career. In doing, he became only the third cricketer to achieve this elusive feat. However, the road after hasn’t been smooth for the Karnataka-lad who was sidelined from the Test squad soon after.