Batting in the subcontinent requires a skill set, which is alien to overseas players who are used to playing on seaming and bouncy tracks. Subcontinent pitches are anything but seaming and bouncy, and therefore, the performance of all overseas players on subcontinent soil is always held in high regard. Here is a list of 10 such performances, which certainly made people’s jaws drop.
1. Steve Smith’s 109 Vs India At Pune, 2017
If batting on dusty, rank turner tracks is an art, then there he was, 1.76m Picasso in the form of Steve Smith. In a match where the opposition scored 212 runs combined in both innings, this gentle wizard scored 136 alone on the back of a magnificent century in the second inning and led his team to a massive victory against India in India itself.
2. Kevin Pietersen’s 186 Vs India At Mumbai, 2012
Dominance, authority, and flamboyance are the best adjectives that can describe this absolute master class inning by Kevin Pietersen. The way he dominated Indian spinners on square turners was simply breathtaking to watch. Getting to the pitch of the ball, massive strides, and often running down the track. Scoring 186 runs in an inning at a healthy strike rate of 79.82 just proves that it was one of the classiest innings ever played on Indian soil. This innings also led the foundation for England to win a series after 28 years in India.
3. Alastair Cook 190 Vs India At Eden Gardens, 2012
Ind vs Eng series 2012-13 was a batting tutorial of spin bowling. Following Pietersen’s 186 At Mumbai, Cook’s 190 at Eden Gardens was also an equal gem of an innings. Cook scored 190 in the second inning when the ball already started to turn; this proves how good this inning was. On the back of Cook’s innings, England posted a mammoth total of 590, which set the platform for England to win the test match by seven wickets.
4. Chris Gayle 333 Vs Sri Lanka At Galle, 2010
Universe Boss did what he does best; he demolished a good Sri Lankan bowling attack at their backyard with a massive 333 off 437 deliveries. The pitch was quite challenging as even the hosts were asked to follow on, though the match ended in a draw. However, Mr. Universe Boss was unperturbed by spin and bounce as he muscled his way to one of the best innings played in the subcontinent.
5. Marcus Trescothick 193 Vs Pakistan At Multan, 2005
Marcus Trescothick displayed the epitome of batsmanship at Multan, Pakistan. After batting first, scored 274 in their first inning and there was this man, who played an immaculate inning of 193 at a strike rate of 63.27. Anyway, England lost the match by 22 runs. Trescothick's efforts can’t be discounted as this inning was well paced and was played against some great pace bowlers in the form of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami, followed by an equally capable spin attack of Danish Kaneria and Shoaib Malik.
6. AB De Villiers 217* Vs India At Ahmedabad, 2008
Everyone falls short of words when the name AB de Villiers comes up. AB has always taken a liking against India and this gem of an inning of 217* is just one of his few miraculous innings. After batting first, India was bowled out for a meager 76 by the South African pace attack and then AB de Villiers started his onslaught to lead his team to a victory against India in India. AB’s knock was simply genius because the surface had something both for pacers and spinners but the way AB de Villiers dominated by scoring 217* at a strike rate of 65 shows that this was the batting of the highest class.
7. Kane Williamson 131 Vs India At Ahmedabad, 2010
It was the debut inning of Kane Williamson, but he showed no signs that he was a debutant. Coming at number 5 on a turning track against two of the finest Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha, Kane Williamson showed glimpses of his brilliance. As is the case with test matches in India, this was also a run feast, but to no discredit to Williamson, this was one of the classiest innings played on the subcontinent by a classy player.
8. Dean Elgar 160 Vs India At Visakhapatnam, 2019
In the present days, where every country is facing the problem of a good opener, Dean Elgar showed his mettle by scoring an outstanding 160 against a very skillful Indian bowling act on a tricky surface. Where all his teammates felt like a pack of cards, Dean Elgar showed great resilience and overcame the conditions which were alien to him by his mental fortitude and showed all the overseas openers how to play in subcontinent conditions.
9. Kallis 155 Vs Pakistan At Karachi, 2007
Jacques Kallis played a phenomenal inning by scoring a sublime 155 against Pakistan in their backyard and led his team to a 160 runs victory. On a turning track where everyone else found batting to be tough, Kallis stood out with his performance by completely dominating the spinners and batted the opposition out of the game.
10. Lara 216 Vs Pakistan At Multan, 2006
As it turns out, it was the last double century of Prince Lara’s career and he made everyone remember that inning. The way Lara played this inning was just astounding to behold. He used his feet to perfection, played those flashy drives, and when that high backlift met the ball, more often than not, the ball flew towards the boundary fence. Lara played this inning at a strike rate of 82, and the dominance of Lara was all over the park. Lara’s mini altercation with Danish Kaneria and then smashing him for more than 20 runs in the next over was simply a joy to watch. This inning was a sheer example of dominance with proper caution.