Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara all failed to do it. Only nine players have done it in the 21st century, and Brendon McCullum has just become the most recent player to score a hundred in his final test match. None of them however, will be remembered for as long as McCullum’s.
Viv Richard’s record of scoring the fastest test match century stood for 30 years, until today. McCullum has always been a player to bring his one-day style to test matches, and will finish his career with a test match strike rate of around 65. From a player who has scored well over 6000 test match runs, very few have a scoring rate quite as good as McCullum.
The innings itself was typical of the New Zealand captain. From ball one he was positive, and made it to his hundred off just 54 balls, two fewer than Richards. He was given his fair share of luck, especially when he was caught by Mitchell Marsh, only to have been reprieved by James Pattinson’s no ball. The crucial runs eventually came off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood, when the third of three consecutive boundaries bought up his ton. His innings eventually ended on 145 off just 79 balls.
The innings also secured the 34-year-old’s status as one of the most entertaining cricketers in test match history. Not only does he now hold the record of scoring the fastest test hundred, but he also surpassed Adam Gilchrist’s record of most sixes in test match history, making it to 106 in Christchurch.
Whatever now happens in this test match, the last international game of McCullum’s career, it will forever be remembered for his record breaking century. A record that could now stand for quite some time.