One of our readers, David Wildman, had an unusual request. He wanted to know which batsmen have the best average in innings immediately after scoring a century. Normally we have a fair idea of what our answers will look like (before we find them), but with this one we didn't have much of a clue. We also checked out the other side of the coin - which batsmen average the least in innings immediately following a hundred.
For a minimum of five career tons, it turned out that former Indian captain Vijay Hazare is No. 1 on the Test list, his average of 100.66 in innings right after he scored a century being greater than that of Don Bradman. Bradman, though, maintained his average of 95.24 across 29 innings (since he made 29 hundreds), while Hazare did it for only seven. Hazare followed up his first century, against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 1948, with another one - 145 - during the follow-on, after which he scored 74 in the first innings of the MCG Test. In December that year he scored 59 against West Indies in Kolkata, right after making 134 in Mumbai. What really boosted Hazare's average, though, was his hat-trick of hundreds - 122, 164 not out and 155, followed by 6 - against West Indies and England even though those matches were more than a year apart.
Former West Indies batsman Everton Weekes had an average of nearly 98 in innings immediately after those in which he scored a hundred. That stat, however, was primarily due to Weekes' world record of five consecutive centuries against England and India in 1948. He also scored three consecutive hundreds against New Zealand in 1956, and followed up four of his other hundreds with half-centuries.
Among current batsmen, Indian opener Gautam Gambhir is the only one in the top 10. He has scored six hundreds (he hasn't batted after his 167 in Wellington) and his scores in the innings after those centuries are 41, 206, 36, 97, and 23.
Another Indian batsman, Vijay Manjrekar, heads the list of batsmen with the lowest Test averages in innings immediately after a century. Manjrekar scored seven hundreds in his 55-Test career, and followed them with scores of 0, 18, 0, 1, 24 and 0. His last century came in his final Test, against New Zealand in Chennai in 1965.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain fared poorly in each of his 13 innings right after he scored a hundred. Hussain aggregated only 220 runs at an average of just under 17 in such innings. His scores were 19, 48, 0, 19, 2, 35, 4, 15, 15, 11, 12, 10 and 30. He too ended his career with a hundred, against New Zealand, at Lord's in 2004.
Gambhir, incidentally, also ranks among the top 10 batsmen with highest averages in innings after scoring centuries in ODIs. He has six hundreds in 74 matches and has scored 28, 80 not out, 21, 63 not out, 40 and 13 in innings after each of them, aggregating 245 runs at an average of 61.25.
Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf is No. 1 in ODIs, averaging 107.25 in 15 innings after a century. Seven unbeaten innings among the 15 helps raise the figure, but his scores are nevertheless impressive: 55 not out, 8 not out, 90 not out, 39, 125, 76 not out, 88, 65, 30, 2, 79, 58 not out and 108 not out.
Two explosive modern-day entertainers are among the top 10 batsmen with the lowest ODI averages in innings immediately after a century, an indication, perhaps, of their hit-or-miss approach. Adam Gilchrist scored 16 ODI hundreds but managed only one score of above 50 in innings immediately following them. In those innings he aggregated only 320 runs at an average of 20.
Virender Sehwag averages better than Gilchrist, but his 27.18 is still below his career figure of 34.33. Sehwag has scored 11 ODI hundreds and has scores of 4, 59, 4, 7, 4, 5, 74, 48, 49, 4 and 40 in the succeeding innings.
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George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo