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Stats Analysis

Stats - Who has the best numbers after 100 Test caps?

The 100-Test club is set to grow by four this week. Here are some key stats from those already in it

Kane Williamson and Tim Southee are set to play their 100th Tests this week  •  Getty Images

Kane Williamson and Tim Southee are set to play their 100th Tests this week  •  Getty Images

The elite 100 Test club is all set to increase to 80 players, with four new additions across the two Test matches starting this week. R Ashwin and Jonny Bairstow will reach their milestone in the fifth Test of the Anthony de Mello Trophy in Dharamsala, while the New Zealand pair of Tim Southee and Kane Williamson against Australia in Christchurch on the very next day.
1 Muthiah Muralidaran has the most dominant bowling record in the first 100 Test matches of a career - 593 wickets, 49 five-wicket hauls and 14 ten-wicket match hauls, all being the highest for any player. R Ashwin, who will play his 100th in Dharamsala, is the only one other than Muralidaran with 500-plus wickets in his career's first 100 Tests.
1 Steven Smith leads the run-getters charts as he scored 9137 runs at an average of 58.95 by the end of his 100th Test, both being the highest. His 32 hundreds, however, are the joint-most alongside Kane Williamson, who will complete 100 Test matches this week.
0 Matches missed by Brendon McCullum between his debut and 100th Test match, making him the only player with this feat. McCullum, in fact, never missed a Test match for his team between debut and retirement. Five other players tied for second in the list, having missed only one match before they reached 100 Tests.
Allan Border and Alastair Cook missed one Test in their debut series but played 150-plus consecutive matches from there until they retired. Kapil Dev was mysteriously left out of the 1984 Kolkata Test against England, the only time he missed a Test until his retirement.
Likewise, the only Test that Ian Healy missed in his career was in the 1994 Pakistan tour with a broken thumb. Rahul Dravid went 93 consecutive Tests from his debut, a record in 2005 before he got hospitalized with gastroenteritis on the eve of the Ahmedabad Test against Sri Lanka, which was Anil Kumble's 100th Test.
7y 287d Time span between Alastair Cook's debut Test and his 100th match. It is the shortest period any player needed to complete 100 Tests. The top five shortest spans to reach 100 Tests belong to England players who have debuted in the last 20 years.
The shortest span to complete 100 Tests for a non-Englishman is eight years and 342 days by Mark Waugh for Australia. The longest any player waited to play their 100th Test was Graham Gooch, whose 100th Test came 17 years and 203 days after his debut.
77 Matches missed by Gooch before playing his 100th Test are the most. 25 of the 77 Tests missed by Gooch came after his low-key first series. He also missed 32 Tests between 1982 and 1985 by facing a ban for being part of the Rebel South Africa tour.
Matthew Hayden is next on the list by missing 66 matches, as he featured in only seven of the first 69 Tests of Australia from his debut. A total of six players missed 50-plus Tests between their debut and 100th match, with Bairstow (51) set to join them.
3 Number of players to reach the milestone of 100 Tests during the 2006 Centurion Test between South Africa and New Zealand - Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Stephen Fleming. It is the only instance of three players reaching their milestone in a match.
There are two other instances of multiple players reaching 100 Tests in a match - Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart against West Indies in Manchester in 2000, while Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook did it in the 2013 Ashes Test in Perth. Two such instances will take place this week in Dharamsala and Christchurch.
17 England players, including Bairstow, to feature in 100 Test matches. These are the highest number of players to have played 100-plus Tests for a country. Australia and India are next on the list - 15 and 14 players featured in 100-plus Tests for them. Among the first eight Test nations, Pakistan has the fewest players with 100-plus appearances - only five have reached 100 Tests for them thus far.
3 Players with a five-wicket haul in their 100th Test match - Warne, Muralidaran and Kumble. Warne against South Africa in 2002 and Muralidaran against Bangladesh in 2006 bagged a six-wicket haul in their 100th Test, while Kumble took a five-fer in his milestone match against Sri Lanka in 2005. Kapil Dev, in his 100th match, took seven wickets across both innings, the joint-third most by any player in their 100th Test.
10 Players to score a hundred in their hundredth Test match. Only two of them went on to convert it into a double - Joe Root against India in 2021 and David Warner against South Africa in 2022. Ricky Ponting had a unique double in his 100th Test - he scored hundreds in both innings of that match.
298 Days Sunil Gavaskar spent between the start of his 99th and 100th Test match is the longest any player waited to play his 100th after his 99th, as India did not play a Test match in 1984 until October. Mohammad Azharuddin is the only player to end his career with 99 Tests after being banned due to match-fixing allegations.
36.42 Jonny Bairstow's batting average going into Dharamsala. 22 players averaged lower in Tests than Bairstow heading into their 100th Test, including 19 with 300-plus wickets. Ben Stokes averaged only 36.34 before the Ranchi Test, where he joined the 100-Test club but had 197 wickets.
The other two players were Ian Healy (28.69) and Mark Boucher (30) - both played every game as a designated wicketkeeper. The lowest average heading into the 100th Test for a specialist batter is Mike Atherton's 38.14, while Carl Hooper had a lower average than him (36.85) but had 110 wickets in his first 99 Tests.
Bairstow's Test career has been a mixed bag - he played 55 Tests as a designated wicketkeeper with an average of 37.63, which is higher than the 34.95 in 44 matches as a specialist batter. Bairstow's 216 dismissals when playing as a keeper would put him behind only Boucher (380) and Healy (344) for most before the 100th Test.
2 Number of pairs who debuted together and featured in 100-plus Tests. Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards debuted against India in 1974 and represented West Indies in over 100 Tests apiece. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid debuted against England in 1996 at Lord's and played 100-plus Tests for India.
6 The most players with 100-plus caps to feature in a Test match. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble played in the 2008 Chennai Test against South Africa, whose XI consisted of 100-Test club's Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher. The Indian quartet was responsible for the three other instances when they toured Sri Lanka in the same year, clashing with Muthiah Muralidaran and Chaminda Vaas in a three-match series.

Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo