The Big Picture

The final day of the what has been a pulsating Test series between England and India saw some rearguard action from KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. The duo came together when India was reeling at 5-128 on the first morning of the fifth day and stitched a 204-run partnership to lend some respectability to the total after they had been reduced to 3-2. Rahul, who stroked a pulsating 149 was matches stoke-by-stoke by Rishabh Pant, who brought up his maiden Test hundred with a Brobdingnagian six off Adil Rashid.

By doing so, Pant became just the fourth Indian batsmen to rack up a maiden Test ton with a six. Pant also broke MS Dhoni’s (76 not out at Lord’s 2007) record of most runs by an Indian wicket-keeper in the fourth innings overseas.

On that note, here’s a look at the Indian Players who got to their maiden hundred with a six

#1 Kapil Dev vs West Indies at Delhi, 1978-79

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The first Indian batsman to get to his debut hundred with a six, Kapil Dev achieved the feat against the mighty West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the winter of 1978-79.

Coming into the fifth Test at Delhi, India were leading the series 1-0 and they got off to a great start coursey skipper Sunil Gavaskar’s gritty 120 and Dilip Vengsarkar’s pulsating 109 to set the home team in the ascendency. But, it was really Kapil Dev’s innings of 126 in 124 balls that got the ball rolling for India as they amassed a massive 8-566 in their first innings.

In a swashbuckling assault on the West Indian bowlers, Dev stroked the innings at a barely believable strike-rate of 101.61 which included 11 fours and a Brobdingnagian six to bring up his maiden Test hundred.

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#2 Irfan Pathan, vs Pakistan at Bangalore, 2007-08

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The Bangalore Test in 2007 against Pakistan was a tale of two contrasting halves for the Indian batting unit. The first half saw their top-order rattled against the likes of Yasir Arafat (5-161) and Mohammad Sami (2-149) which had left them reeling at 4-61 on the first morning.

The second half saw the might of Indian batting at its very best as Sourav Ganguly (239) and Yuvraj Singh (169) scripted a 300-run stand to put the side back on track, but the icing on the cake came with Irfan Pathan’s free-flowing hundred that virtually took the wind out of the Pakistan attack.

Fresh from his Man-of-the-Match performance against the arch-rivals in the 2007 World T20 final, Pathan carried on his love affair with Pakistan as he stroked a sublime 133-ball-102. The innings included ten fours and four sixes, the last of them coming off Danish Kaneria when he was at 95 to bring his maiden a Test ton and becoming only the second Indian to reach his maiden ton with a six.

This was incidentally the last Test match played between India and Pakistan till date after the 2008 Mumbai attacks had forced to cut-off bilateral ties with their arch-rivals.

#3 Harbhajan Singh, vs New Zealand, Ahmedabad, 2010

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After gaining a slender lead of 28 in the first innings, India was reeling at 6-65 with most of the cream of their batting back in the hut.

Harbhajan, who had scored a 69 in the first innings buckled down with VVS Laxman (91) to stitch a 163-run stand to take India out of troubled waters. Bhajji en-route to his maiden Test hundred brought the milestone with a hoike over long-off of Jeetan Patel to become only the third Indian cricketer to get to his maiden ton with a six.