On this day in 2016: Brendon McCullum smashes the fastest Test hundred

Brendon McCullum, one of the most destructive batsmen to have played the game, definitely knew how to put up a show. That’s what he did during his career. The knock of 158 in IPL’s first-ever match and the carnage which he brought to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 are some of the endeavours which cannot be forgotten.

A show, indeed, it was at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Against the Aussie pacers, McCullum played some outrageous shots which didn’t make sense, given the situation of the Test match, but no one wanted the spectacle to stop. Australian skipper Steve Smith won the toss and sent in the New Zealand batters to take up the heat first.

McCullum goes berserk

And as many would expect on day one of a Test, things were going at a slow pace. Aussie pacers were chipping away with wickets and Smith’s plan to use the grass on the pitch as long as it was there seemed to be working perfectly. But, at the 20th over mark, with a score at 32 for 3, McCullum arrived at the wicket. The Aussie players were nice enough to give him a standing ovation giving a guard of honour as the entire Hagley Oval cheered for their hero. But, no one would have expected what was about to happen.

McCullum stayed at the crease for 124 minutes. By Test cricket standards, that’s not too much time on a green wicket with three wickets down in the first session of a Test match. He faced just 79 balls in total but 27 of those were sent to or over the boundary. The Australian attack didn’t know what had hit them. He reached his century in just 54 balls, making it the fastest-ever Test century. He went past the previous record of 56 balls, which was shared by Misbah-ul-Haq and Sir Vivian Richards.

Blitzing career

McCullum’s attitude towards batting had always been that. He was never scared to fight fire with fire. When you are up against a quality attack on a grassy wicket in New Zealand, you either hope the bowlers mess their lines up or you make them. McCullum had to do the latter one. Throughout his career, he had shown how an attack can be the best defense and even in this Test match, he put up an exhibition and a masterclass of batting, which had controlled hitting combined with tremendous power to clear the fielders. He bowed out from international cricket with 145 runs which came off just 79 balls at a strike rate of 183.54.