McCullum, who benefitted from dropped catches by Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma, batted more than 12 hours to score 302. This is the highest Test score by a New Zealander, and only the second triple century ever to be made in the second innings. Though the knock wasn’t chanceless, it will be rated among the great fightbacks in the sport.
McCullum became cricket’s 24th triple centurion, and his knock the 28th instance of a batsman scaling Mount 300. Only four batsmen have scored more than one triple century in Test cricket—Don Bradman, Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag and Brian Lara. All of them reached the milestone on two occasions. Sehwag almost got a third when he made 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009-10.
England’s Andy Sandham was the first to score a triple century. He achieved this landmark against the West Indies in the fourth and final Test match in Kingston in the 1929-30 season. Since the tour was drawing to a close, Sandham had sold all his bats. The innings that immortalised him was actually scripted by a bat that he borrowed from his captain, Freddie Calthorpe. The statistics for some of the early triple hundreds are not available. But Sehwag’s 278-ball innings against South Africa in Chennai is widely considered the fastest triple century yet.
Scoring a 300 demands not just cricketing ability, but also a hunger for runs and the stamina to bat long. McCullum will be proud that he accomplished something that even Sachin Tendulkar couldn’t.