Gautam Gambhir centuries in international cricket: ODI, T20I and Tests

Gautam Gambhir evolved as one of the most compact batters in the game between 2008 and 2011, opening successfully in all three forms. Regarded as a complete batter who was equipped with a myriad of qualities, not only did he have an aggressive instinct like Sehwag, he could also play a controlled innings which would make the likes of Dravid and Laxman proud. The result? A substantial number of Gautam Gambhir centuries over his glorious cricketing career.

Between October 2008 and February 2010, Gambhir notched up an incredible eight  international centuries. From setting up wins to batting his side out and holding for draws, which included a nearly 11-hour marathon in the 2019 Napier Test match, the elegant-left-handed batter excelled in various situations. 

Across this period, Gambhir also managed half-century scores in 11 or more successive Tests, equalling Viv Richards’ record. To honor his iconic performances on the international stage, Gambhir was named the Test Player of the Year in 2009 which subsequently helped him earn the Arjuna Award, India's second-highest sporting honor.

Gautam Gambhir centuries
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Gambhir was also an active performer in the IPL where he enjoyed a great deal of success. 

He primarily played for two franchises most notably the Delhi Daredevils (Now Delhi Capitals) and Kolkata Knight Riders throughout the entirety of his IPL career. While playing for the Daredevils, Gambhir became the second-highest run-scorer of the inaugural season with 534 runs from 14 matches. Moreover, under his leadership, KKR went on to grab their second IPL title during the 2014 IPL edition. 

As this legend’s illustrious cricketing career has now come to a close, we reflect on some of the best Gautam Gambhir centuries that will leave you wishing he was still on the field.

Read also: All MS Dhoni centuries in international cricket

Gautam Gambhir centuries: Career summary

Gambhir is one of India’s all-time run-getters at the top of the order. Some have even gone as far as comparing him with the legendary Sunil Gavaskar. In his 13-year-long career, Gambhir made 242 international appearances for India spanning 58 Tests, 147 ODIs, and 37 T20Is.

FormatMatInnsRunsHSAveSR100s50s
Tests58104415420641.9551.49922
ODIs1471435238150*39.6885.251134
T20Is37369327527.41119.0207

Across all three formats, the Delhi-based top-order batsman has amassed 10,324 runs which included 20 centuries. Overall, these Gautam Gambhir centuries comprise nine Test and 11 ODI centuries while he holds no centuries in the T20I format.

Gambhir’s favorite format tends to be the ODI format where he accumulated 5238 runs averaging nearly 40. Most Gautam Gambhir centuries came in the ODI format where he has 11 centuries and 34 half-centuries to his name. In the longest version of the game, Gambhir has also found success where he piled up 4154 runs averaging 41.95 with nine centuries under his belt. 

In addition to his success in the longer formats, Gambhir fared well in T20I for the men in blue averaging nearly 27 with seven half-century-plus scores. He never made a century in this format however.

Gautam Gambhir centuries: ODI, T20I and Tests

Gambhir was a fierce competitor with the bat who had the uncanny ability to adapt to different game situations. He could attack the bowlers from the get-go and also play the anchor role when required. Here is a comprehensive snapshot of all the top Gautam Gambhir centuries encompassing each format.  

Gautam Gambhir ODI centuries 

Gambhir has registered some sensational tons in the ODI format, most of which came in a winning cause. 

Across his 143 ODI innings, Gambhir racked up 11 centuries averaging a shade under 40 while maintaining a formidable strike rate of 85.25.  He scored seven centuries at home and four centuries in away conditions, with six of Gambhir’s centuries in ODI cricket coming against Sri Lanka.  

RunsOppositionGroundStart Date
113Vs AustraliaSydney24 Feb 2008
101Vs BangladeshMirpur12 May 2007
107*Vs BangladeshMirpur12 Jun 2008
138*Vs New ZealandJaipur1 Dec 2010
126*Vs New ZealandVadodra4 Dec 2010
103Vs Sri LankaAhmedabad6 Nov 2005
102*Vs Sri LankaBrisbane5 Feb 2008
150Vs Sri LankaColombo5 Feb 2009
150*Vs Sri LankaEden Gardens24 Dec 2009
100Vs Sri LankaMirpur13 Mar 2012
102Vs Sri LankaColombo28 Jul 2012

Gambhir produced his best ODI century against Sri Lanka during a home ODI series back in 2009. In this series, he delivered a monumental century of 150* (137) which gave India the momentum to chase down a tricky target of 316. He put up a belligerent show with the bat and 14 fours in that innings. India won that game easily in the end by a margin of six wickets with 11 balls to spare. 

His second-best innings came against the Black Caps in Jaipur. Gambhir smashed an unbeaten 138 and made a mockery of New Zealand’s formidable target of 259 as India raced towards their target with the loss of only two wickets and 42 balls to spare. During that same series, he put on yet another dazzling century in the third ODI match by scoring a magnificent 126* to power India to a one-sided victory. 

Gautam Gambhir T20I centuries 

Gambhir also relished performing in the shortest format and played some match-defining cameos. Although he was not known for his pinch-hitting abilities, Gambhir was skilled at finding gaps and relied on risk-free cricket to score most of his T20I runs. 

While he was never able to score a T20I century, Gambhir did manage seven half-centuries, including his best score of 75 against Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup edition which led India to glory. 

In comparison with his T20I career, Gambhir endured a more prolific run in the IPL where he amassed 6402 runs at a stunning average of 28.96 with 53 half-centuries. Gambhir’s 93 against RCB in the 2012 IPL edition remains his best-ever individual score in the history of IPL. 

Gautam Gambhir Test centuries 

Gambhir had a formidable track record for India in the longest format of the game. In 104 innings, Gambhir amassed over 4000 runs averaging 41.95 with nine centuries under his name. 

With two centuries apiece against Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka, more than half of the Gautam Gambhir centuries came on home soil (five). In addition, the batsman has also scored 22 half-centuries in this format. 

RunsOppositionGroundStart Date
104Vs AustraliaMohali22 Feb 2013
206Vs AustraliaDelhi21 Jan 2006
139Vs BangladeshChattogram17 Dec 2004
116Vs BangladeshChattogram17 Jan 2010
179Vs EnglandMohali19 Dec 2008
137Vs New ZealandNapier26 Mar 2009
167Vs New ZealandWellington3 Apr 2009
114Vs Sri LankaAhmedabad 16 Nov 2009
167Vs Sri LankaKanpur24 Nov 2009

Gambhir achieved his career-best Test score against Australia during the third Test match in 2008. The elegant left-handed opener smashed his way to a swashbuckling double ton, scoring 206 (380) to power his side to an imposing first innings total. He made full use of the favorable batting conditions on offer and smashed 26 fours and one six in his innings, with the game ending in a draw.

The most significant innings played by Gambhir was in 2013 in a home Test series against Australia. During the first Test match, Dhoni registered a record-shattering double ton to flatten the vulnerable Aussie bowling lineup. His mammoth score of 224 helped India set up a huge first-innings lead over Australia. As a result, Australia were not able to post a respectable target and India sailed to a comfortable eight-wicket win.

During India’s second test match against New Zealand at Napier, Gambhir also produced a match-saving century in the second innings to help team India salvage a draw. 

After handing the Black Caps a colossal first-innings lead of 314 runs, India required their leading batters to step up and contain the onslaught from the Kiwi bowlers. Gambhir rose up to the occasion playing an arduous innings of 137 (436) to hold the Indian innings together. His nearly 11-hour stay at the crease prevented the Indian innings from falling apart. 

Gambhir’s third-best century came against Sri Lanka at Kanpur in the 2009 Test series. At the business end of the series, India were aiming for a series win in the final match of the two-match series. Gambhir led the way for the Men in Blue as he smashed his way to a brutal 167 (215) to help India post a daunting first-innings score of 642. The score proved way beyond the reach of the Lankans as they failed to get past that score in two completed innings and eventually suffered a heavy defeat by an innings and 144 runs. 

Gautam Gambhir centuries: Near misses

There were occasions when Gautam Gambhir would run out of luck and fall short of his well-deserved century. We have seen four such instances when Gambhir was dismissed in the 90s, against Australia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. 

During the epic 2011 World Cup final, Gambhir played a magical knock under pressure to keep India in the chase. But unfortunately, he was cleaned up by Perera on 97 after playing a rash shot which could have been avoided. Nevertheless, he helped India set up a reasonable base from where they could launch. In the end, Dhoni finished it off in style and brought the World Cup home after 28 years.

A year later in the Commonwealth Tri-Series between India, Sri Lanka, and Australia, Gambhir missed out on two occasions. During the fifth match of the series against Sri Lanka, Gambhir failed to convert his score to a swashbuckling 100 and was dismissed on 91. The game ended in a nerve-wracking tie. A game later against Australia, Gambhir was trapped in front by Clint Mckay on 92 which threw the game wide open. However, India managed to win the game by four wickets. 

All you need to know about Gautam Gambhir centuries: His journey to the top

Gambhir was born on 14 October 1981 and grew up in a Punjabi Khatri family in New Delhi. 

His father, Deepak Gambhir, managed a textiles business while his mother, Seema Gambhir, was a housewife. Gambhir has one younger sister, Ekta, who is two years younger than him. In 1947, Gambhir’s grandfather migrated from the Pakistani city of Multan to Delhi. He was later adopted by his maternal grandparents following his birth and lived with them ever since. 

Gambhir made early inroads into cricket at the age of 10. He attended the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy in Delhi where he was rigorously developed by Sanjay Bharadwaj and Raju Tandon. He eventually made the cut to the first intake of the National Cricket Academy in 2000. 

As a cricketer, he was an opening batsman who primarily played for Delhi in domestic cricket and captained KKR and DD in the IPL. He made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in 2003 and played his first Test appearance the following year against Australia. Several years down the line, he also took over the captaincy baton for the Indian team from late 2010 to late 2011 with India winning all six matches. 

Gambhir’s days at the top of the order became numbered when Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan burst into the scene. Gambhir announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2018. He is the proud recipient of the Padma Shri Award which is considered India's second-highest civilian honor and became a member of Parliament a year later. 

Nevertheless, he still continued his association with the game, as currently works as a sports commentator and a coach.

Gautam Gambhir: Other records 

Apart from the Gautam Gambhir centuries record, Gambhir is also a very accomplished cricketer with several noteworthy records to his name. 

Gambhir is the only Indian and one of four international cricketers to have scored hundreds in five consecutive Test matches. He is also the only Indian batsman to have scored more than 300 runs in four consecutive Test series, and as of November 2023, is the 12th-highest run-scorer for India in Twenty20 Internationals. 

He was a brilliant skipper in the IPL as he led his then-franchise KKR to their second IPL title in the 2014 IPL edition.