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The Magnificent Nine

- By Statsman    

There are only nine batsmen in cricketing history who have the unique distinction of scoring a hundred in each innings of a Test on two or more occasions. Rahul Dravid, the 'Wall ' of the Indian team, became the latest member of this elite club earlier today. It already includes an Indian, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who accomplished the feat THRICE - the only batsman to do so.

The other members of this exclusive club are (in chronological order):

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid, the ninth batsman to score twin hundreds in a Test more than once

* Herbert Sutcliffe ( England ) - 176 & 127 vs Australia at Melbourne , 1924-24 and 104 & 109* vs South Africa at The Oval , 1929 . At Melbourne, he became the first player to score two hundreds in a Test against Australia. But his efforts failed to prevent defeat for his team by 81 runs. However, his second feat at the Oval was a match-saving one.

* George Headley ( West Indies ) - 114 & 112 vs England at Georgetown , 1929-30 and 106 & 107 also against England at Lord's , 1939 . In the first instance, he became the first West Indian to achieve this feat, and then had to wait for a full decade to repeat this display at Lord's, cricket's Headquarters. He was the first to score two hundreds in a Test at the Mecca of Cricket.

* Clyde Walcott ( West Indies ) - 126 & 110 at Trinidad and 155 & 110 at Kingston - both against Australia in the same series in 1954-55 . In the process, he became the first, and till date, only batsman to score a hundred in each innings of a Test twice in the same series.

* Greg Chappell ( Australia ) - 247* & 133 vs New Zealand at Wellington , 1973-74 and 123 & 109* vs West Indies at Brisbane , 1975-76 . At Wellington, Greg and his elder brother Ian provided the only instance of siblings each scoring a hundred in both innings of a Test. At Brisbane , Greg became the first player to score hundreds in both innings of his first Test as captain .

* Sunil Gavaskar ( India ) - 124 & 220 vs West Indies at Trinidad , 1970-71 ; 111 & 137 vs Pakistan at Karachi , 1978-79 and 107 & 182* vs West Indies at Kolkata in the same season. The master batsman holds the unique record of being the only player to achieve this feat thrice .

* Allan Border ( Australia ) - 150* & 153 vs Pakistan at Lahore , 1979-80 and 140 & 114* vs New Zealand at Christchurch , 1985-86 . At Lahore, Border became the first batsman to score over 150 in both innings of a Test match. At Christchurch, he was captain of the team.

* Aravinda De Silva ( Sri Lanka ) - 138* & 103* vs Pakistan in 1996-97 and 146 & 120 vs India at Colombo , 1997 . The dashing Lankan batsman achieved this feat twice within a short span of five months. He notched up six hundreds in successive test innings in Colombo on the way.

* Matthew Hayden ( Australia ) - 197 & 103 vs England at Brisbane , 2002-03 and 117 & 132 vs Sri Lanka at Cairns , 2004 . In the 2002-03 season , Hayden scored his seventh ton in ten Tests and his sixth in seven Tests on home soil - a terrific run of scores that went on till last year .

* Rahul Dravid ( India ) - 190 & 103* vs New Zealand at Hamilton , 1998-99 and 110 & 135 Vs Pakistan at Kolkata , 2004-05 . Dravid in 1998-99 became the third Indian after Gavaskar and Vijay Hazare to score twin centuries in a Test. He has achieved the same feat against Pakistan at Kolkata six years later.