New Zealand’s Devon Conway became just the seventh batsman in Test cricket’s 144-year history to make a double century on debut. We take a look at those who scored double centuries before him and what came of their respective careers.
Reginal Foster (England ) – 287 ENG vs AUS, Sydney, 1903-04
Foster is the only man to skipper England in football and cricket. He played just the eight Tests but made an impact in what is the highest score by a Test debutant – a massive 287. It’s still the highest score by an Englishman in Australia. He played only one full season of county cricket, in 1901, when he made 2,128 runs at 50.66. His average after eight Tests was 46.
Jacques Rudolph (South Africa) – 222* SA vs BAN, Chittagong, 2002-03
Rudolph scored an unbeaten and impressive 222 on Test debut against Bangladesh in Chittagong. He scored four more centuries, including an unbeaten 102 to save the Proteas from defeat in 2005 in Perth; thereafter he managed just one fifty in his next 14 innings and was dropped after a tour to Sri Lanka in 2006. Rudolph’s talent was undeniable but he struggled to bring his domestic form into the international arena. He was eventually recalled and played another 13 Tests. After 48 matches he finished with an average of 35.
Lawrence Rowe (West Indies) – 214 WI vs NZ, Kingston, 1971-72
At his home ground, Sabina Park, he played four Tests scoring three centuries, including a double and single century on debut, and averaged 113.40 in Jamaica. Against England, at Bridgetown in 1974, he made 302 out of 596-8, in just over 10 hours in a memorable performance. He finished his career with an average of 43 having played 30 Tests. Unfortunately, he was consistently hampered by injury.
Mathew Sinclair (New Zealand) – 214 NZL vs WI, Wellington, 1999-2000
He scored 214 on debut, against West Indies in Wellington, and followed that up with 204* against Pakistan the following year. However, he never reached the heights expected of him and was in and out of the Black Caps side throughout his 33-match Test career averaging 32.
Kyle Mayers (West Indies) – 210* WI vs BAN, Chattogram, 2020-21
Mayers is the most recent double centurion before Conway and his innings was a match-winning effort against Bangladesh. The Windies were chasing 395 and Mayers scored a fourth-innings double century on debut which is some feat. Thereafter, Mayers has managed two 50s and two 40s in a promising start to his career. He averages 66 after four Tests and there should be more to come.
Brendon Kuruppu (Sri Lanka) – 201* SL vs NZ, Colombo, 1986-87
Kuruppu scored an attritional double ton against Richard Hadlee and co – the innings took 777 minutes, which is the slowest double hundred in first-class history. Weirdly, he was known as a slogger. It was his first first-class century, and his last Test century because he played only four Tests averaging 53.