Most centuries against India in Test cricket: Joe Root becomes most successful batter vs IND

Joe Root topped the list of batters with the most centuries against India in Test cricket history when he hit a century at Ranchi on Friday. Root remained unbeaten on 122 in the first innings of the fourth Test to help England recover from 112/5 to 353.

Historically speaking, India haven't always had a good bowling attack barring a few great bowlers here and there. Quality batters have always been a big thorn in the flesh for India in the longer format. The late 1990s to 2000s, in particular, were very painful for Indian fans as the likes of Ricky Ponting, Sanath Jayasuriya, Jacques Kallis, and Michael Clarke tormented India regularly.

The top two names on the list of batters with the most centuries against India in Test cricket are from the current era. It has not only been a bowling-friendly era but India possesses their best bowling attack, which highlights the quality of Joe Root and Steve Smith.

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Batters with the most centuries against India in Test cricket 

Below is the list of batters with most centuries against India in Test cricket. Joe Root sits at the top with 10 centuries while Steve Smith has nine. Three batters have hit eight centuries each versus India and there have been six batters in history with seven hundreds.

Player100sInningsRunsAverage Span
Joe Root1052272559.232012-2024
Steve Smith 937204265.872013-2023
Garry Sobers 830192083.471958-1971
Vivian Richards841192750.711974-1989
Ricky Ponting 851255554.361996-2012
Everton Weekes7151495106.781948-1953
Jacques Kallis 731173469.362000-2013
Michael Clarke 740204953.922004-2014
Shivnarine Chanderpaul744217163.851994-2013
Clive Lloyd744234458.601966-1983

Joe Root (10 centuries)

most centuries against India
Photo by Icon Sport

Since making his debut in 2012, Joe Root has been a massive roadblock for India in Test cricket. Arguably England's greatest-ever Test batter, Root has 10 centuries versus India in 52 innings, the most centuries against India. He has amassed 2725 runs against India at an excellent average of 59.23. 

Whether at home or in difficult Indian conditions, Root has stepped up his game and against India's best bowling unit. 109 at Nottingham in 2021, a double century in England's win at Chennai in 2021, 142* off 173 at Edgbaston chasing 378 and the most recent 122* at Ranchi are some of his best centuries against India. 

Steve Smith (9 centuries)

Steve Smith is considered amongst the greatest batters in Test cricket and he has an outstanding record versus India. The Aussie batter has registered nine centuries against India from 37 innings. Smith has scored 2042 runs in these innings at an average of 65.87. 

Smith's iconic centuries against India include his 109 on a treacherous deck in Pune in 2017, an unbeaten 178 at Ranchi in that same series and 121 at the Oval in the WTC final. 

Garry Sobers (8 centuries)

Sir Garfield Sobers, arguably the greatest all-rounder in Test cricket, had a ridiculous record against India. He sits third on the list of batters with most centuries against India, with eight centuries in 30 innings. Sobers amassed 1920 runs in Tests against India at an incredible average of 83.47. On the 1958 tour of India, Sobers smashed three centuries in three consecutive games, including 198 at Kanpur. 

Vivian Richards (8 centuries)

Another West Indies legend Vivian Richards also scored eight centuries versus India but he did it in 41 innings. Between 1974 to 1989, Richards was part of five Test series against India, scoring 1927 runs at an average of 50.71. In the Delhi Test in 1974, Richards scored an unbeaten 192 when no other batter made more than 75 in the whole match. 

Ricky Ponting (8 centuries)

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting scored eight centuries against India in 51 innings. He made 2555 runs from 29 games at an average of 54.36. Ponting had a torrid time versus India in India, averaging 26.48 and hitting one century. However, he destroyed Indian bowling attacks at home with seven centuries and averaging a stunning 86.04. Ponting hammered three double centuries against India in his Test career.

Everton Weekes (7 centuries)

Everton Weekes holds the most unbelievable record against India in Test cricket. He played only 10 matches across two series in 1948 and 1953 but amassed 1495 runs at an average of 106.78. Weekes registered seven centuries in just 15 innings versus India. The right-hand batter hit four hundreds in the first three games on the 1948-49 tour, including twin centuries at Eden Gardens. 

Jacques Kallis (7 centuries)

The South African all-rounder was one of those players who always grinded down the Indian bowlers. Jacques Kallis piled on 1734 runs at an average of 69.36 and recorded seven centuries from 31 innings. His best came in the 2010-11 series at home, where he hit three centuries in three Tests, including a double hundred at Centurion.

Michael Clarke (7 centuries)

Michael Clarke played 22 matches against India between 2004 to 2014. He made 2049 runs in these games at an average of 53.92. Clarke registered seven centuries from 40 innings against India. Clarke's career-best score of 329 not-out came against none other than India, when decimated the visitors at Sydney. In that same series, Clarke hit a double hundred at Adelaide.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (7 centuries)

The second most prolific run-scorer for West Indies, Shivnarine Chanderpaul had a pretty good run whenever he came up against India. He scored 2171 runs in 44 innings at an average of 63.85, including seven centuries. His last century against India came at Delhi on their 2011 tour.

Clive Lloyd (7 centuries)

Clive Lloyd makes the list of top 10 batters with most centuries against India in Test cricket. The former West Indies skipper registered seven centuries versus India from 44 innings. He made 2344 runs in these games at an average of 58.60. Lloyd's career-best came against India when he smashed an unbeaten 242 at Wankhede in 1975. 


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