#2. Vinod Kambli
Once anointed as the next big thing of Indian cricket, Vinod Kambli lived up to his reputation early on, with consecutive double hundreds in only his third and fourth Test respectively. It all went downhill for him from that point.
The former southpaw scored his first Test century, 224 against England at his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, during the third Test of the series played from February 19-23, 1993. Batting first, England managed a decent 347 on the board courtesy Graeme Hick’s 178 even as Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble finished with three wickets each.
In response, Kambli, aided by an opening stand of 109 between Navjot Sidhu (79) and Manoj Prabhakar (44), went on to play a marathon innings. His knock of 224 featured as many as 23 fours, and he was particularly harsh on the spinners dancing down the track, and constantly hitting them over the top. Kambli batted for over 600 minutes during which he faced 411 balls.
During the course of the innings, Kambli also featured in a 194-run stand for the third wicket with childhood friend Sachin Tendulkar, who contributed 79. Pravin Amre also scored a quick 57 as India made 591 and went on to win the Test by an innings and 15 runs.
Kambli went on to score 227 in his very next Test against Zimbabwe at Delhi. Who would have thought back then that he would end up playing only 17 Test matches for 1084 runs?