The most challenging thing for a cricketer is to change their game according to the format. The type of play that is required in ODIs is very different from what is demanded by Tests. Players need to have a lot of character and temperament when playing Test cricket and need to play the game with highest level of concentration, and there is no margin of error.The highly respected Test format requires batsmen to vex the bowlers with defensive technique and only go for strokes when bad deliveries come at them. It requires not just skill but the right mindset to score daddy hundreds in the longer format.Through the course of this article, we look at five matches in which two batsmen scored double centuries in the same innings.
5. MAHELA JAYAWARDENE (240) AND THILAN SAMARAWEERA (231)
Mahela Jayawardene is one of the greatest batsmen of all-time. He has always been reliable for Sri Lanka with his consistent performances. Thilan Samaraweera did not enjoy great success in the shorter format. However, in the longer format, he played a key-role in the middle-order and saved the team on numerous occasions.
Sri Lanka toured Pakistan for a 2-Test series. In the first test at Karachi, the visitors won the toss and chose to bat first. Jayawardene and Samaraweera came up big and stitched a 437-run partnership for the 4th wicket. The Pakistani bowlers were left scratching their heads as the two took the attack to the opposition with a beautiful partnership.
Jayawardene scored 240 off 424 balls with 32 fours. Samaraweera scored 231 off 318 balls 31 fours. This was his first double-century in Test cricket. The visitors posted a mammoth total of 644 in the first innings. However, Younis Khan answered back for Pakistan with a triple-century of his own, and Pakistan racked up 765 in their first innings. The match eventually ended in a draw.
Samaraweera then posted another double-century in the very next game at Lahore. However, the match was abandoned after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus.
4. RICKY PONTING (221) AND MICHAEL CLARKE (210)
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are names that need no introduction. They were both successful captains and the Australian team played fearless cricket under their captaincy, demolishing even the best of the teams.
India visited Australia for a 4-Test series in 2012. The hosts humiliated the visitors and clinched the series 3-0 after the first three Tests. The final Test in Adelaide was just dead rubber. Ponting and Clarke, who had been brilliant throughout the series, continued their dominance and decimated the Indian bowlers.
After losing 3 early wickets for just 84 runs, Clarke and Ponting added 386 runs for the fourth wicket before the former was dismissed by Umesh Yadav. Clarke scored 210 off just 275 balls and Ponting scored 221 off 404 balls. They combined for 47 boundaries and a solitary six.
The hosts defeated the visitors and finished the series 4-0. Michael Clarke was the Man of the Series for scoring 626 runs in 6 innings at an average of 125.20. Ricky Ponting also had a great series as he amassed 544 runs in 6 innings at an average of 108.80.
3. GAUTAM GAMBHIR (206) AND VVS LAXMAN (200*)
Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman are two of the greatest Test batsmen India have had. Gambhir provided terrific starts at the top of the order and set the platform. VVS Laxman was known for his match-saving ability batting with the tail-enders, and led India to famous victories.
The Aussies toured India for a 4-Test series in 2008. After the first Test ended in a draw, India defeated the visitors by a huge margin in the second Test and went up 1-0 in the series. The focus shifted to the third Test at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Batting first, India lost two quick wickets in the form of Sehwag and Dravid, but Sachin managed to provide the team some respite, scoring 68 runs. After Sachinâ€™s wicket, Laxman took over and the Gambhir-Laxman duo exploded for a 278-run partnership for the 4th wicket before the former got dismissed for 206. Laxman carried on and scored an unbeaten 200, his second double-century and the home team declared at 613-7.
The match was drawn and India held on to the 1-0 lead in the series. VVS Laxman, who scored an unbeaten double-century in the first innings and an unbeaten half-century in the second innings, was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match.
2. GRAEME SMITH (232) AND NEIL MCKENZIE (226)
Graeme Smith is arguably the greatest Test skipper of all-time. He holds the record for most Tests as captain and the Proteas had great success during his stint. Neil McKenzie featured in 58 Tests and scored 3253 runs at an average of 37.39. He gave good starts to the team on a number of occasions and blunted the new ball.
South Africa were up against Bangladesh for a 2-Test series in 2008. After winning the first Test in an emphatic fashion, the visitors were looking to win the second and the final Test and go home with the cup. South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first.
Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith combined for a record-breaking partnership of 415 runs for the first wicket. They destroyed the bowlers for runs all around the park and played at a really good pace. Neil McKenzie was dismissed for 226 runs off 388 balls. This included 28 fours and 3 sixes.This was his first (and only) double century in Test cricket. The skipper scored 232 off 277 balls with 33 fours and a six. They went past the previous record of 413 runs set by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy.
The visitors won this game and also the series 2-0. Graeme Smith was awarded the Man of the Match for his double-century that came at a strike rate of 83.75.
1. MAHELA JAYAWARDENE (374) AND KUMAR SANGAKKARA (287)
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara were the mainstays of the Sri Lankan batting lineup for over a decade and came up alive every game to help the team win games. The two left their mark on the game of cricket and will forever be remembered as legends. After their retirements, the team has been struggling to find replacements, and are on a spree of heart-breaking losses. Sri Lanka hosted South Africa for a 2-Test series in 2006. In the first Test at Colombo, the visitors batted first, but were bundled out for a paltry 169. Dilhara Fernando and Muttiah Muralitharan ripped the heart out of South African side with combined figures of 31.2-8-89-8.
In return, Steyn struck early, picking up two wickets, and the hosts were reduced to 14-2. Then Jayawardene and Sangakkara piled on a record partnership. The two stitched 624 runs for the third wicket and decimated the visitors. The partnership was eventually broken when Sangakkara fell to Hall after scoring 287 runs off 457 balls with 35 fours. Jayawardene finished the innings with 374 off 572 balls, accompanied by 43 fours and a solitary six.
The hosts went on to win the game and go up 1-0 in the series. The skipper was awarded Man of the Match for his brilliant triple-century. – sportsk