Test cricket is considered to be the ultimate and the purest version of the game. A consistent performance in the format gives an idea about the real character, temperament and class of a batsman. Players are tested in grueling conditions with their fitness levels challenged to the extreme limits. Quick scores of fifties might turn out to be enough in Limited overs cricket. However, it is not enough in Test cricket on most occasions.
Test cricket requires long period of survival and demands a batsman to score big hundreds. The game has witnessed some players over the years who have displayed exceptional conversion rates, that is, ability to covert starts into big hundreds. Let us now have a look at five of those players who have more Test centuries to their name than the number of fifties.
#1 Mathew Hayden
Mathew Hayden is one of those players who belonged to the golden era of Australian cricket. Australia went on to win many trophies and series both overseas and at home in the period between 1999 and 2007. Hayden was one of those reasons behind all that success. He set himself as a role model for the next generation Australian batsmen.
The elegant and powerful left-handed opener was one of Australia’s main batting stalwarts in all three formats of the game. He is one of those rare players who had the ability to play pretty long innings. And that is the reason that could be attributed to his higher number of Test hundreds than fifties. He has 30 Test hundreds to his name as compared to 29 fifties. Once settled down at the crease, he would generally make it big. A career best score of 380 suggests so. In the 103 matches that he played for Australia, he made 8625 runs at a stunning average of 50.73.
#2 Sir Donald Bradman
Sir Donald Bradman is unarguably one of the best batsman to grace the golden pages of cricket history ever. Once he held the record for most centuries in Test Cricket which stood at 29. The record was broken decades later by none other than Sachin Tendulkar.
Interestingly, he has far less number of fifties to his name in Tests, 13 to be precise. So, his number of centuries stand 16 more than that of the fifties. Although, his record for most number of centuries has been broken, no one has yet been able to broke his record of the highest Test average-99.94. He needed just 4 runs in his last innings to achieve the magical average of 100.00. However, all he managed in his last innings was a duck. But, that does not take anything away from him. With 6996 runs to his name in 52 Tests for Australia, he is still a legend.
#3 Virat Kohli
The present Indian Cricket team Captain, Virat Kohli, is creating his own legacy, both as a batsman and as a captain. The Indian Cricket team has achieved higher Heights in World Cricket during his stint as the captain in the past couple of years.
He had a rather slow start to his Test career but now he is off and running scoring a bulk of runs. Now, he has 17 centuries to his name in Tests which is more than the number of fifties (14) that he has scored.
He now averages around 50 in Tests with 4658 runs to his name. He is just 28 years old now and has a long way to go. Probably, he will score many more runs and treat the Indian fans with many more victories.
#4 Michael Clarke
The former Australian skipper, Michael Clarke, once again falls in that category of batsmen who have more Test Centuries to his name than fifties. He scored 29 centuries in Tests which is a one more than the number of fifties he managed.
He had a sublime career for Australia and was a regular in all three formats during his younger days. He was made the skipper after Ricky Ponting retired. However, he was in and out of the team as a series of injuries followed. He retired with a World Cup to his name that Australia won in 2015.
He had 8643 runs to his name in 115 Tests at an average of 49.10.
#5 Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin is one of the best classical batsmen India has ever produced. The elegant right-hander mesmerised the whole world with his class and style.
He scored 22 centuries in Tests, one more than the number of fifties. Considered as one of the best players of spin in the world, bowlers were afraid to bowl at him. Not that he wasn't a good player of pace bowling. But, it seemed like magic when he wielded his willow to spin bowlers.
His career unfortunately ended with a match fixing controversy. However, he had already played 99 Test matches for India by then, scoring 6215 runs at an average of 45.03.