History of India’s 4 700+ Test Scores: Commoners Get India Their Highest Score, Surpassing Greats

KL Rahul and Karun Nair

If one can forgive for calling other players as commoners unless they turn great, India’s 4th 700+ score is the surprising instance where India scored their highest ever test score in 507 test matches because of the effort of commoners while the key players could not contribute and in the process displayed the best batting efforts of lesser known players. Earlier three instances of India’s 700+ scores were driven either by the Fab Four or Fab Four + Sehwag. Let us check the complete records of India’s 700+ scores in test matches.

759/7d is India’s highest score and overall only 4th 700+ score in their 507 test matches played since 1932. While 759 is the highest ever scored against England by any team, India has scored first one at Sydney and other two against Sri Lanka, at Mumbai and Colombo under the captaincy of Dhoni. Parthiv Patel, Murali Vijay and Ishant Sharma are the only players to be part of previous 700+ scoring playing XIs. Two of them were driven Tendulkar’s high score, while one was driven on Sehwag’s third highest test score.

759/7d vs England at Chennai, 2016
The top four run scorers of 2016 5-test series (vs England) with Root (at 2nd) had the contribution of Pujara 16, Kohli 15, Murali Vijay 29. Even in terms of partnership they were part of the only three partnerships that were less than 100 -29 (2nd Pujara, 40 (3rd Kohli and 63 (5th, Vijay). Still, with 4 huge partnerships, 2 huge centuries and 3 50+ scores Indian scored their highest test score even in their 507 test matches.
100+ partnerships

    1 151 KL Rahul, Parthi Patel
    4 161 KL Rahul, Karun Nair
    6 181 Karun Nair, Ashwin
    7 138 Karun Nair, Jadeja

1st 700 score for India: 705
Parthiv Patel scored a half-century (50-ball 62 batting at No. 7) even at Sydeny when on Jan 2, 2004 India scored 705/7d. Tendulkar’s unbeaten 241, Laxman’s 178 and their 4th wicket partnership of 353 was the key to that first 700+ test score of India. Aakash Chopra (45), Sehwag (72), Dravid (38) were other key contributors while there were 3 century partnerships.

    1st 123 Aakash Chopra, Sehwag
    4th 353 Tendulkar, Laxman
    6th 101 Tendulkar, Partiv Patel

Since that first time, India scored twice more. Once in 2009 at Mumbai (BS) and then at Colombo (SSC) in 2010, both against Sri Lanka. In both the games Murali Vijay opened the innings.

2nd 700+ score of 726/9d
At Mumbai Murali Vijay scored 87 runs while Sehwag scored 293 (adding 221 for 1st wicket) and Captain Dhoni remained unbeaten on 100. Dravid (74), Tendulkar (53), Laxman (62) were other key contributors as they had two consecutive 200+ partnerships.

    1st 221 Vijay, Sehwag
    2nd 237 Sehwag, Dravid

3rd 700+ score of 707
At Colombo, Murali Vijay scored 58, Sehwag missed century by a run and both of them added 165 runs for 1st wicket. Tendulkar (203) and Raina (120 on debut) were the centurions while Dhoni scored 76. Ishant Sharma was also part of the playing XI and scored 27 runs.

    1st 165 Vijay, Sehwag
    5th 256 Tendulkar, Raina

In the first three 700+ scores, Indians won the test match at Mumbai while the remaining two were draw. In the first three instances, the key batsmen of team were the main contributors. This is the first instance where the key batsmen failed miserably and others shocked the opponent with huge scores.

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