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The elite club: India's triple centurions

December 19, 2016 17:45 IST

IMAGE: Karun Nair celebrates his triple century against England in the fifth Test held at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Photograph: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images.

Indian rookie Karun Nair has joined the legendary opener Virender Sehwag to become only the second Indian batsman to score a triple century in Tests.


Nair reached the milestone in 381 balls having moved from 200 to 300 in just 75 deliveries. 

Sehwag has two triple hundreds to his name, first scoring 309 against Pakistan in 2004 in Multan, while the second one was a brilliant 319 against the mighty South Africa in 2008 in Chennai.

Sehwag also came very close to becoming the first batsman ever to have three triple tons to his name when he slammed 293 against Sri Lanka in the third Test in Mumbai. 

"Yay ! Welcome to the 300 club @karun126 . It was very lonely here for the last 12 years 8 months. Wish you the very best Karun. Maza aa gaya!" tweeted Sehwag applauding Nair’s scintillating knock.

As we witnessed a 25-year-old Nair score a memorable triple ton, takes a look at the top three knocks by Indian batsmen with respect to runs scored in an innings.

1) Sehwag's 309 vs Pakistan, Multan, 2004:

IMAGE: Virender Sehwag (right) of India celebrates reaching his 300 as teammate Sachin Tendulkar applauds during Day 2 of the first Test against Pakistan in Multan. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

Sehwag was at his strokeful best as he tore apart Pakistan's bowling attack in the first Test at Multan, paving the way for India's first series win on Pakistani soil.

Sehwag's knock of 309 also made him the first Indian batsman to score a triple century in Test matches.

The opener’s 309 came off only 375 balls helping India post a mammoth 675/5 dec.

During his 375-ball stay in the middle, the aggressive opener smashed as many as 39 boundaries and hit six big sixes sending the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Saqlain Mushtaq on a leather hunt.

Pakistan were bundled out for 407, courtesy some brilliant swing bowling by Irfan Pathan.

Trailing by 268 runs, the hosts were asked to follow-on. Pakistan's second innings was a disaster as they were skittled for 216.

India won by an innings and 52 runs on the fourth day.

2) Sehwag’s 319 vs SA, Chennai, 2008 (Test):

IMAGE: Virender Sehwag celebrates his 300 runs during Day Three of the first Test match against South Africa held at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Photograph: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images.

Four years later in 2008, Sehwag once again breached the 300-mark in Tests, against a quality South African pace attack.

Batting first on a placid track, South Africa amassed a mammoth 540, courtesy a brilliant 159 from Hashim Amla.

Sehwag led India's reply with belligerent stroke-play to ensure India's start was steady (82-0 from 21 overs). At the end of the day he was well-entrenched on 52, with Wasim Jaffer, on 25.

Followed Day Three, and it was a Sehwag story all through.

None of the bowlers were spared. South Africa had a glimmer of hope when they dismissed Jaffer, but in came Rahul Dravid, who also hit a ton in the process.

Sehwag got to a hundred off 116 balls. He then accelerated as India looked for some quick runs and, in the process, registered the fastest triple ton, off just 278 balls.

His marathon innings included 42 boundaries and five massive sixes.

3) Nair’s 303 not out vs England, Chennai, 2016

IMAGE: Karun Nair scored 303 not out off only 381 balls against England in the fifth Test held at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Photograph: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images.

Karun Nair joined West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers and former Australia captain Bob Simpson in turning his maiden Test century into a triple hundred as his 303 not out helped India declare at 759 for 7 in Chennai.

The 25-year old batsman scored his first hundred in 185 balls, his double ton in 306 runs and then accelerated in top gear to complete his triple ton in only 381 balls as India also got past their highest score in Test cricket – surpassing the 726/9 declared they made vs Sri Lanka in 2009 when Sehwag had made 293.

Hitting 32 boundaries and four sixes, Nair dished out a dream knock which was also applauded by champion batsman and his skipper Virat Kohli.