Batting in Test cricket is an art where a batter’s skills, determination, and resilience are on display. Many batters have shown their batting mastery by notching up hundreds in Tests.

Scoring a century is a tremendous feat for any batter, especially in the game’s toughest format. And the format has tested some batters on another level, where they endured relentless bowling attacks and unfavourable conditions for a longer time.

In that process, these batters reached their triple-digit marks, although they ended up playing a lot many deliveries. This article will list the top 10 slowest centuries scored by batters in Test cricket.

Slowest Centuries in Test Cricket

PlayerBalls Taken to 100AgainstVenueYear
Michael Cowdrey (ENG)535West IndiesBirmingham1957
Nazar Mohammad (PAK)520IndiaLucknow1952
Derrick McGlew (SA)485AustraliaDurban1958
Albert Watkins (ENG)480IndiaDelhi1951
Hanif Mohammad (PAK)448EnglandDacca1962
Peter Richardson (ENG)440South AfricaJohannesburg1956
Mudassar Nazar (PAK)419EnglandLahore1977
Hanif Mohammad (PAK)410EnglandDacca1962
Asanka Gurusinha (SL)405ZimbabweHarare1994
John Wright (NZ)399IndiaAuckland1981

Key Insights

Michael Cowdrey holds the record for scoring the slowest century in the Test format. The England batter faced a staggering 535 deliveries to bring up his hundred against the West Indies in 1957. Cowdrey clocked in 434 minutes to reach the triple-digit figure.

Mudassar Nazar, who took 419 balls to score his Test century, notched up the slowest hundred in terms of time taken. He batted for 557 minutes — close to 9 and a half hours — to reach the 100-run milestone against England in 1977.

Hanif Mohammad is the only batter to hit 2 Test centuries by consuming more than 400 balls. What’s fascinating is that both centuries came in the same match against England in 1962. In the first innings, Mohammad scored 111 runs and followed that up with 104 runs in the second innings.

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England’s Geoffrey Boycott reached 6 of his 22 Test centuries by taking more than 300 balls — the most by any batter. The number doubles to 12 hundreds if we keep the cut-off as 250 balls. 

Leonard Hutton also notched up his 12 Test centuries by facing more than 250 deliveries.

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