Entering the exclusive club of converting a maiden Test century into a magnificent double ton is a rare achievement, and the recent addition to this list is the young sensation Rachin Ravindra from New Zealand. The 24-year-old talent showcased his prowess in the ongoing first Test against South Africa. He joined the elite group of three other Kiwi batters who have achieved this remarkable feat.
In anticipation of more such stellar performances, let's explore Rachin Ravindra's innings along with those of the other three New Zealand players who converted their first Test centuries into double centuries. Each of these instances reflects not only the batter's brilliance but also the growing strength and resilience of New Zealand's cricketing prowess.
#4. Martin Donnelly, 206 vs England
In 1949, Martin Donnelly etched his name in history as the first New Zealand batter to transform a maiden Test century into a remarkable double hundred. Achieving this milestone in just the fifth Test of his career, Donnelly's left-handed brilliance shone through at Lord's during the second Test of a series against England.
Previously, with the highest score of 64, he not only reached the century mark but soared to 206, marking a historic moment for New Zealand cricket. Despite a brief Test career of seven matches, Donnelly left a lasting legacy with an impressive average of nearly 53, featuring one century and four half-centuries.
#3. Matthew Sinclair, 214 vs West Indies
In his debut Test innings, former New Zealand batsman Matthew Sinclair left an indelible mark by smashing a remarkable double century. During the final match of the two-test series against the West Indies in Wellington, Sinclair showcased his prowess with an outstanding innings. Coming in after Gary Stead's early dismissal, Sinclair crafted a sensational 214 runs off 437 deliveries, adorned with 22 boundaries.
His monumental contribution played a pivotal role in propelling the Kiwis to a formidable total of 518/9 in the first inning. Despite his initial success, Sinclair faced inconsistencies in his career, playing only 33 Test matches. However, his impressive average of 320.05, three centuries, and a knack for converting them into substantial scores, including two double centuries, remain notable highlights of his cricketing journey.
#2. Devon Conway, 200 vs England
In a remarkable debut Test match during New Zealand's tour of England at Lord's in 2021, Devon Conway crafted an unforgettable innings, securing his maiden double hundred. The 32-year-old, showing composure on his Test debut, defied England's formidable attack, amassing a brilliant 200 off 347 balls. Conway's innings, adorned with 22 boundaries and a six, showcased his prowess in playing elegant off-side strokes.
Despite facing intense bowling, he left an indelible mark on the Lord's crowd. Although the match ended in a draw, Conway's outstanding performance earned him the well-deserved title of Player of the Match. Since then, he has become a key player in New Zealand's Test lineup, boasting an impressive average of nearly 44 in 19 games, inclusive of four centuries.
#1. Rachin Ravindra, 240 vs South Africa
Rachin Ravindra, emerging from a stellar performance in the 2023 ODI World Cup, solidified his Test credentials with a spectacular double-century in the ongoing match against South Africa. After a modest start to his Test career, the southpaw showcased remarkable resilience, forming a pivotal 232-run partnership with Kane Williamson.
Ravindra's maiden Test century came off 189 deliveries, followed by an impressive acceleration to secure a double tonne in the next 151 balls. Finishing with a masterful 240 from 366 deliveries, Ravindra's innings marked a significant breakthrough, elevating him to the 12th spot among the highest scores by a Kiwi batter in Test innings. His performance cements his status as a rising Test star for New Zealand.