Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has joined a select group of batsmen by scoring his 50th first class century. He reached the landmark at the weekend playing for Saurashtra against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy Group B match, in the end finishing on 162 not out, his innings spanning 238 balls, and featuring a six and 19 fours.
In terms of those players still active in the game, Pujara is fourth on the current list. The three men ahead of him are former England captain Alistair Cook (65), India’s Wasim Jaffer (57), and ex-South Africa captain Hashim Amla.
31, Pujara, who has 18 test centuries to his name included with his total, has scored more than 15,000 runs in his career to date, having played in 197 first class matches.
However, he will need to pay extraordinarily well in the rest of his career if he is to become a member of the elite group of players who have scored more than a hundred first class centuries, with such luminaries of the game as Sir Don Bradman, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Len Hutton, and Sir Geoff Boycott all featuring. In fact, of the 25 names on the list, all but four of them are Englishman, one of whom, Jack Hobbs, tops the rankings, having brought up three figures 199 times in all between 1905 and 1934.
In terms of international centuries, however, it is India’s Sachin Tendulkar who leads the way, having scored exactly 100, 51 in test matches, and 49 in ODIs. Current Indian captain Virat Kohli is presently third on the list, but, he is has the chance to equal, or even surpass the next man above him, Australia’s Ricky Ponting, with upcoming series against Australia and New Zealand.
Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid is 9th on the all-time list of international centurions, whilst current president of the BCCI Sourav Ganguly is tied for 20th place. Amongst other current Indian players Rohit Sharma would appear to have the best chance of progressing up the list fastest if he continues his current form.
Like Ganguly he has scored 38 international centuries, but, if he has another good year with the bat in 2020, could find himself much higher placed at the end of the year.