India has been a powerhouse to some of the finest cricketers the gentleman’s game has ever witnessed. And when it comes to red-ball cricket, then the Indian cricket team is fortunate to have produced a number of talented cricketers that include the likes of Polly Umrigar, Vijay Hazare, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, and the list continues with notable mentions at regular intervals.
In addition to the aforementioned legends, there have been few cricketers who have played pivotal roles for the Indian side with their knocks in clutch moments negating any chances of the team’s defeat, be it in a home or an away Test.
Let us take a look into the records of seven Indian cricketers whose Test centuries never came in a losing cause. Note to be taken, batsmen with less than five Test hundreds are not considered in the list.
Roy was best known for his world record opening partnership of 413 with Vinoo Mankad. The record stood for 52 years and was broken only in 2008 when Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie made 415 runs for the opening stand against Bangladesh.
Before the Sunil Gavaskar Era, India banked on Pankaj Roy to cumulate runs onto the scoreboard. A prolific opener who hailed from Kolkata, Roy scored 2442 runs in 32 Test matches, averaged 32.56, and struck 5 hundreds and 9 fifties.
The right-hander along with Vinoo Mankad was involved in an opening partnership of 413 runs against New Zealand in Madras in 1952, a record that stayed for 52 years until 2008.
The Goan-born cricketer was known to have a liking towards playing spin and mind you, in his cricketing days from December 1961 to December 1972, Sardesai, a First Class legend with 10,230 runs in 179 appearances, was among the best cricketers in the Indian cricket team.
Averaging an exact 39.23 in 55 innings across 30 Tests, the right-hander scored 2,001 runs including five centuries and 9 half-centuries. Interestingly, he got 3 out of 5 Test tons against West Indies that include a double ton (212) at Sabin Park in West Indies in 1971. And the remaining hundreds came against New Zealand, including an unbeaten 200 on a drawn Test at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
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Popularly known as Vishy, the Mysore-born was perhaps one of the best Indian cricketers throughout the 1970s. In fact, such was his prowess as a red-ball cricketer that Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar considered Vishwanath a level higher than himself.
Since his debut against Australia in 1969 where he recorded a century and duck in a drawn Test at Kanpur, Vishwanath emerged as one of the most bankable players in the Indian batting order in that era.
A great timer of the ball and a highly wristy cricketer who could play both pace and spin with equal finesse, India didn’t lose a single Test match that marked a century from the right-hander.
In 91 Test appearances, the Karnataka cricketer amassed 6080 runs at an average of 41.93, including 14 hundreds and 35 fifties and a personal best of 222 against England in MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, in 1982.
Undoubtedly, India’s greatest limited-overs captain and one of the legends of the game, MS Dhoni, with his captaincy intellect, was instrumental in steering the Indian Test side to the number 1 rank for the first time in 2009.
Averaging 38.09 in 90 Tests, the Ranchi-born wicket-keeper batsman scored 4876 runs that comprised 6 hundred and 33 fifties.
Dhoni registered two tons against Sri Lanka and a solitary ton each versus West Indies, South Africa and Pakistan.
His personal best of 224 was against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in 2013. That was his only Test hundred versus the Aussie unit – a match-winning knock that was hammered at a striking rate of 84.53.
Fondly called by the masses as ‘Dada’, Sourav Ganguly was arguably one of the greatest cricketers from the subcontinent and one of the finest the cricket fraternity ever witnessed in the longer format of the game.
Ganguly had one of the most memorable debuts in Test cricket, notching a hundred (131) against England at Lord’s in 1996. He is only the third cricketer ever besides England’s John Hampshire and Harry Graham to register a ton in their debut match at the Mecca of Cricket.
The southpaw then followed with another magnificent ton (136) at Trent Bridge and emerged as one of the highest run-getters in the 3-match series.
In a red-ball career spanning 91 Tests that spanned 91 Tests, the ‘God of Off Side’ aggregated 7212 runs at an average of 42.18, including 16 hundreds, and a high score of 239 against Pakistan at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru in 2007.
When we talk of Gautam Gambhir’s prowess in whites, the first knock that pops up in the minds of many cricket fanatics is his hundred against New Zealand at Napier in 2009. In what appeared like a contest out of India’s reach and even a draw looked difficult, the Delhi-born cricketer exhibited a high grade of mental strength, batted out 643 minutes, and racked 137 off 436 deliveries in the second innings to save the Test match for the visitors.
India were then involved in a draw in the third and final Test at Basin Reserve that once again witnessed a Gambhir master-class, as he compiled 167 runs in the second innings.
Fortunately, India had won the first Test courtesy of Sachin Tendulkar heroics, and eventually won the 3-match Test series by 1-0.
Gambhir, who made his Test debut in 2004 against Australia, was involved in a total of 58 Test matches, where he amassed 4154 runs while averaging just under 42. The southpaw struck 9 hundreds and 22 fifties and ensured none of the Test tons came in a losing cause.
A calm and composed cricketer, Ajinkya Rahane is often termed as India’s crises-man in overseas conditions and remains one of the biggest clutch performers for the Men in Blue in the purest format of the game.
The right-hander has grown as a cricketer since his debut against Australia in 2013, with some of his memorable knocks being the century (103) against England at Lord’s in 2014, and of late, the historic ton (122) in the concluded Boxing Day Test versus Australia at MCG that helped the visitors level the series 1-1, post the forgettable defeat in the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval, which was the opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21.
However, his reputation as a reliable batsman on overseas tours developed during the second Test against New Zealand at Basin Reserve, where he struck 118 in 154 deliveries at a striking rate of 74.68 on a highly seaming wicket.
So far, the 32-year-old cricketer has been a part of 67 Tests and aggregated 4384 runs at an average of 43.40, including 12 centuries and 22 half-centuries, and a personal best of 188 against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore in 2016.
What’s worth pointing out is 9 out of his 12 Test hundreds have come in a winning cause and the remaining three in draws.