Cracking doubles: Fastest double centuries in Test cricket

Not often do we get to see batsmen coming up with big knocks in recent times that too at a great pace despite the batting dynamics getting improved. It is one of the reasons why the top ten list of fastest double centuries in Test cricket has only three entries from the last decade. It won’t be a surprise to mention Ben Stokes’ double ton against South Africa will be on the top from the past decade as the all-rounder got to the 200-run mark in just 163 balls. It is also the 2nd fastest double ton in Test history.

Nathan Astle takes the top spot in this list as he completed his double century in only 153 balls during the 2002 Christchurch Test against England. Astle scored 222 from 168 balls in an unsuccessful attempt of a 550-run chase by batting with the tail. Until Astle’s effort, it was Sir Ian Botham’s 220-ball double century which was on the top of the list of fastest Test double hundreds.

The English all-rounder got 208 from 226 balls in the 1982 Oval Test against India. At the moment, Botham’s effort is moved to No.10 and could go down further in the coming year. Virender Sehwag is the only player to feature in the list more than once and he has had as many as three entries, all of them by reaching the milestone inside 200 balls.

By the time of his last appearance in Test cricket, Sehwag accounted for three of the four Test double-centuries coming in less than 200 balls. His fastest came at the Brabourne Stadium against Sri Lanka when he got to a double ton in just 168 balls. Sehwag got as many as 284 runs in a single day’s play during that effort. The Indian opener ended up with 293 which came in only 254 balls and fell seven runs short of his record 3rd triple century.

His previous fastest Test double was scored in the 2006 Lahore Test against Pakistan. Sehwag smashed a 247-ball 252 during a near world record opening stand of 410 runs with Rahul Dravid. Sehwag reached his double in 182 balls which was then 2nd fastest double hundred.  Sehwag got his double ton in 194 balls during an Indian record of 319 against South Africa in 2008.

Fastest double centuries in Test cricket: