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Top 4 Fastest Test Hundreds By A Visiting Batter In India

image-lsopxf1gAdam Gilchrist (AP)

Test cricket stands as the ultimate test of a player's skill and endurance, serving as the pinnacle of the sport. It is widely acknowledged that a player's performance in Test cricket is the true measure of their quality. Consequently, those who excel in the longest format are held in the highest regard among cricketing circles. 

For bowlers, claiming a five-wicket or ten-wicket haul in Test cricket is a monumental feat, symbolizing mastery over their craft. Similarly, for batters, scoring a Test century holds immense significance. The allure of achieving this milestone quickly is undeniable, as demonstrated by legendary players like Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist, David Warner, and Brendon McCullum, who have proved that scoring a Test hundred swiftly doesn't necessitate consuming numerous deliveries.

These stalwarts have not only enriched the game but also made Test cricket more captivating for spectators by scoring centuries in a minimal number of deliveries. However, achieving a century swiftly in unfamiliar and challenging conditions, especially for overseas batters touring countries like India, where the conditions are vastly different from their home turf.

Indeed, India's dominance at home, fuelled by its array of elite spinners, poses a formidable challenge for visiting teams, particularly for a batter. Overseas batters often find it daunting to navigate the spinning conditions prevalent in India, further amplifying the significance of quickfire centuries scored in such challenging environments.

In this discussion, we will list down four such batters who have etched their names in cricketing history by scoring centuries in the fewest number of deliveries in Test cricket.

Ross Taylor (99 balls)

image-lsoq1b98Ross Taylor (AP)

Ross Taylor was at his absolute best against the Indian bowling attack, spearheading New Zealand's charge with a commanding century as they reached 328-6 by stumps on the opening day of the second and final Test in Bangalore. 

Leading from the front as the New Zealand skipper, Taylor had pledged to adopt an aggressive approach against Indian spinners, a promise he fulfilled emphatically with a fearless 127-ball 113. His innings, marked by two sixes and 16 boundaries, marked his seventh Test century, achieved in just 99 deliveries.

The Bangalore crowd was treated to a spectacle as Taylor's aggressive batting style illuminated the stadium. His dynamic approach at the crease had previously endeared him to fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium during his stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. 

Ben Duckett (88 balls)

image-lsoq2hxmBen Duckett (ICC)

The dashing left-handed English opener treated the Indian bowlers to a spectacle of exquisite shot-making, employing a fearless approach characterized by punishing short deliveries and elegant drives through cover or down the ground. His adeptness in executing sweeps and reverse-sweeps further underscored his batting prowess, leaving Indian skipper Rohit Sharma grappling for solutions.

Remarkably, Ben Duckett reached his century in just 88 balls, inflicting significant damage on the Indian bowling attack. By the end of Day 1, he remained unbeaten on 133 off 118 deliveries, comprising 21 fours and two sixes, thereby placing India on the back foot with his power-packed innings.

Duckett's innings stands as one of the finest visiting hundreds in India, a testament to his skill and resilience against a formidable Indian bowling lineup in their own backyard.

Clive Lloyd (85 balls)

image-lsoq5c9nClive Lloyd (AP)

During the Caribbean team's illustrious era, Clive Lloyd captained them to numerous victories and was a formidable batter in the middle order. His presence alone spelled trouble for India, as he seemed determined not to be dismissed. Despite the best efforts of the renowned Indian bowling attack, Lloyd's innings proved unstoppable. He bludgeoned 22 fours and 2 massive sixes on his way to a monumental 163 runs from just 149 balls, reaching his century in a mere 85 deliveries. Lloyd's commanding performance, along with Gordon Greenidge's resilient contribution, paved the way for West Indies to secure a convincing victory by 267 runs.

Adam Gilchrist (84 balls)

image-lsoq6uksAdam Gilchrist (AP)

Adam Gilchrist's innings is etched in the memories of countless fans, as he unleashed a blistering assault right from the outset, ultimately achieving the milestone of the fastest century by a visiting player on Indian soil, surpassing Clive Lloyd's long-standing record.

Entering the fray at No.7, Gilchrist partnered with opener Matthew Hayden, forging a formidable 197-run partnership for the 6th wicket in just 193 balls. Despite Hayden's departure after a valiant 119 off 172 deliveries, Gilchrist continued his onslaught, smashing 15 fours and 4 sixes en route to his scintillating 122-run knock off a mere 112 balls. Australia, bolstered by Gilchrist's fireworks, amassed 349 runs, securing a commanding first-innings lead of 173 runs. Ultimately, Australia emerged victorious in the Test by 10 wickets, with Gilchrist's whirlwind century playing the all-important role in their triumph.

During the first innings, Gilchrist reached his century in a mere 84 balls, showcasing his exceptional batting prowess and revolutionizing the game with his aggressive approach, far ahead of his time.