What is a Maiden Century in Cricket?

In this guide we will look at the importance of a maiden century in cricket. This is the first time in a batsman’s career that they will score a hundred runs or more and it’s important for a number of reasons.

Maiden Centuries can occur in all forms of the game and this major landmark is accessible in test cricket, one day matches and T20s.

What does Maiden Century Mean in Cricket?

In the simplest terms, a maiden century represents the first time that a player ever scores a hundred in a cricket match.

It doesn’t matter if that batsman scores more than a hundred runs: As long as their final total is recorded as a three-figure score then they have brought up a century.

The Significance of a Maiden Century

Cricket is a game where statistics play a big part and the most important landmark for batsmen is the century. By reaching the milestone for the first time, it can prove that the individual is an effective batsman within the sport and they are likely to be taken more seriously by bowling sides after this point.

When players look back on their career, they’ll always remember that first hundred. For many, the maiden test century is the most important as this form of the game offers the biggest test to a batsman’s technique and temperament. One Day hundreds are also significant even if they don’t quite have the magnitude of three figures in the test arena.

T20 hundreds are much rarer simply because of the shorter format. Many top batters may never reach a century in this form so the focus is on tests and one day games.

Highest Maiden Centuries in Test Cricket

We have compiled an interactive chart with the 20 highest maiden centuries in the history of test cricket. Feel free to click on any of the columns to gather more information about the maiden centuries of each of these great cricketers.

Famous Maiden Test Centuries

Virat Kohli’s Maiden Test and ODI Centuries

Virat Kohli made his test debut in 2011 and his maiden test century came a year later. Batting at number 6 against Australia, India’s future captain scored 116. India lost the game but this was significant as it proved that Kohli offered more than just quick runs in a one day setting.

In One Day Internationals, Kohli had made his maiden century in 2009 in a victory over Bangladesh. His 107 came at Eden Gardens on Christmas Eve of that year.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates his first Test century, in the Adelaide Oval, 24 January 2012

Johnny Bairstow’s Maiden Test and ODI Centuries

Some players have to wait much longer for their maiden test hundreds and that was the case with Johnny Bairstow. Having made his debut against the West Indies in 2012, that first ton came three years later. In 2015 against South Africa at Newlands, Bairstow made 150.

In One Day International Cricket, his first hundred came even later, in 2017. Opening the batting against the West Indies at Old Trafford, Bairstow made exactly 100 from 97 balls without losing his wicket.

Steve Smith’s Maiden Test and ODI Centuries

Australia’s Steve Smith was originally picked as a leg spinner in 2010 and his batting didn’t develop until later. However, he did make his first test hundred early in 2013, scoring 138 in the Ashes series against England.

A year later, he marked his first ODI ton with 101 against Pakistan in Sharjah.

Steve Smith reaches his century
Steve Smith reaches his century

MS Dhoni’s Maiden Test and ODI Centuries

MS Dhoni was India’s influential captain and wicket keeper and he was also very useful with the bat. His first test hundred came against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 2006 when he made 148 in India’s first innings.

In ODI matches, we have to go back to 2005 to find Dhoni’s first hundred. Against Pakistan in Sharjah, he made a brilliant 148 from 123 balls.

KL Rahul’s Maiden Test and ODI Centuries

KL Rahul was much quicker off the mark with his maiden hundreds. In test cricket, he passed three figures in his second test with 110 against Australia in Sydney in 2015.

In One Day Cricket, he became the first Indian to score a hundred on debut as he made exactly 100 against Zimbabwe in Harare.

Ajinkya Rahane’s Maiden Test and ODI Centuries

Like Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane is a middle order batsman who has been in and out of the Indian national sides. He made his first test hundred against New Zealand at Wellington in 2014, scoring 118 after his team had lost early wickets.

His maiden ODI hundred also came in 2014. Against Sri Lanka in Cuttack, Rahane made 111 from 107 balls.

Final Thoughts

A first international hundred will never be forgotten by any player who reached this mark in any form of the game. A century proved that they could bat at this level, even if they never passed three figures again. However, many cricketers make a sport out of reaching the most and the fastest centuries.

The next step, beyond the maiden century is to produce a ‘daddy hundred’. This is a big score that goes some way beyond the 100 run mark.