KARACHI, March 29: Virender Sehwag, who on Monday supplanted Vangipurappu Laxman as India's highest individual scorer in an innings, is only the 17th player in history of Test cricket to hit a triple century.

Sehwag's rather chancy knock is the 18th triple century in 1693 Tests with the incomparable Sir Donald Bradman being the only man ever to achieve this unique feat twice.

England opener Andrew Sandham was the first batsman to score a triple ton when he made 325 against West Indies in Test cricket's 193rd match, reaching 309 at stumps on the second day of the fourth and final Test against West Indies at Kingston on April 4, 1930.

Bradman then bettered Sandham's landmark when he went to make 334 against England at Headingley on July 12, 1930 (the second day), while scoring 309 of those runs on the opening day of the third Test on his first tour of England with the Australian side. Four years later at the same venue, the phenomenal Aussie stalwart returned back to hammer the English bowlers for 304.

It was then left to Len Hutton to surpass Bradman's world record when the Englishman, overnight 300, extended his score to 364 on August 23, 1938 on the third day of the fifth and final Test at The Oval.

Almost 20 years later, West Indian legend Garfield Sobers eclipsed Hutton's feat by making an unbeaten 365 against a depleted Pakistan bowling attack on March 1, 1958 at Sabina Park in Kingston on the fourth day of the third Test.

Earlier in the opening Test of the same series at Bridgetown, the great Hanif Mohammad batted for an incredible 16 hours and 10 minutes to compile 337 after Pakistan were forced to follow-on. Thanks to Hanif's endurance, the six-day Test was drawn. Hanif's marathon innings is easly the longest in Test history.

Brian Lara, the current West Indies skipper, broke Sobers's world mark when he hit 375 against England on the third day of the fifth and final Test at St John's in Antigua on April 18, 1994.

Lara's achievement stood for barely over nine years when another left-hander, Matthew Hayden the powerful Australian opener decimated a hapless Zimbabwe side for 380 - breaking the world record on Oct 10, 2003 on the second day - at Perth.

Usually, the top-order batsmen have better chances of piling up a huge score than those batting in the middle-order. It is no surprise to find 11 opening batsmen making triple centuries in Test history.

Hutton, Sanath Jayasuriya, Hanif, Mark Taylor and Graham Gooch all made triple hundreds when they took the first strike. Hayden, Sandham, Bob Simpson, John Edrich, Sehwag and Lawrence Rowe batted at No 2 for their highest innings.

In the other triple century innings, Lara, Sobers, Wally Hammond and Bradman (334) batted at No 3, Inzamamul Haq and Bob Cowper at No 4 while Bradman's other knock in this category was made when he batted at No 5.

Seven of the batsmen were left-handers - Hayden, Lara, Sobers, Jayasuriya, Taylor, Edrich and Cowper. Only three players were captaining their country while a scoring triple century: Simpson, Gooch and Taylor.

Full list of triple centuries in Test cricket (figures in parenthesis relate to the completed innings of each individual. But details of number of balls faced in three innings are still unavailable):

380 (622 minutes, 437 balls, 38 fours, 11 sixes) - M.L. Hayden, Australia v Zimbabwe at Perth, 2003-04 (Test No: 1661).

375 (766 minutes, 538 balls, 45 fours) - B.C. Lara, West Indies v England at St John's, 1993-94 (Test No: 1259).

365* (614 minutes, 38 fours) - G.S. Sobers, West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston, 1957-58 (Test No: 450).

364 (797 minutes, 847 balls, 35 fours) - L. Hutton, England v Australia at The Oval, 1938 (Test No: 266).

340 (799 minutes, 578 balls, 36 fours, two sixes) - S.T. Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka v India at Colombo, 1997-98 (Test No: 1374).

337 (970 minutes, 24 fours) - Hanif Mohammad, Pakistan v West Indies at Bridgetown, 1957-58 (Test No: 446).

336* (318 minutes, 34 fours, 10 sixes) - W.R. Hammond, England v New Zealand at Auckland, 1932-33 (Test No: 226).

334 (383 minutes, 448 balls, 46 fours) - D.G. Bradman, Australia v England at Headingley, 1930 (Test No: 196).

334* (720 minutes, 564 balls, 32 fours, one six) - M.A. Taylor, Australia v Pakistan at Peshawar, 1998-99 (Test No: 1426).

333 (628 minutes, 485 balls, 43 fours, three sixes) - G.A. Gooch, England v India at Lord's, 1990 (Test No: 1148).

329 (579 minutes, 436 balls, 38 fours, nine sixes) - Inzamamul Haq, Pakistan v New Zealand at Lahore, 2001-02 (Test No: 1600).

325 (600 minutes, 640 balls, 28 fours) - A. Sandham, England v West Indies at Kingston, 1929-30 (Test No: 193).

311 (762 minutes, 740 balls, 23 fours, one six) - R.B. Simpson, Australia v England at Old Trafford, 1964 (Test No: 564).

310* (532 minutes, 450 balls, 52 fours, five sixes) - J.H. Edrich, England v New Zealand, Headingley, 1965 (Test No: 593).

309 (531 minutes, 375 balls, 39 fours, six sixes) - V. Sehwag, India v Pakistan at Multan, 2003-04 (Test No: 1693).

307 (727 minutes, 589 balls, 20 fours) - R.W. Cowper, Australia v England at Melbourne, 1965-66 (Test No: 601).

304 (430 minutes, 473 balls, 43 fours, two sixes) - D.G. Bradman, Australia v England at Headingley, 1934 (Test No: 236).

302 (612 minutes, 430 balls, 36 fours, one six) - L.G. Rowe, West Indies v England at Bridgetown, 1973-74 (Test No: 734).

Highest individual scores for countries not listed above:

299 (610 minutes, 523 balls, 29 fours, three sixes) - M.D. Crowe, New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Wellington, 1990-91 (Test No: 1162).

277 (541 minutes, 373 balls, 35 fours) - G.C. Smith, South Africa v England at Edgbaston, 2003 (Test No: 1651).

266 (675 minutes, 541 balls, 30 fours, three sixes) - D.L. Houghton, Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at Bulawayo, 1994-95 (Test No: 1271).

145 (535 minutes, 380 balls, 17 fours) - Aminul Islam Bulbul, Bangladesh v India at Dhaka, 2000-01 (Test No: 1512).

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