If David Warner’s last 18 months of cricket has shown us anything, it’s that sport can be such a rollercoaster ride, however it’s not often that we get to see such a contrasting peak and trough in such a short amount of time. Warner went from being suspended from the game for 12 months, to being humiliated in the 2019 Ashes series before scoring a triple century Adelaide Oval in one of the most triumphant moments of his career.

Speaking of triple centuries, it’s not something that we often get to see. Currently, there has only been 31 scores of over 300 in the history of Test cricket and from an Australian perspective there has only ever been seven Aussies achieve the feat.

We take a look in depth at the top five highest Test cricket scores by an Australian.

5. Michael Clarke 329 not-out

After a pretty lean patch that saw him go ten Test matches without a century, Michael Clarke was handed the Australian captaincy in early 2011 when Ricky Ponting stepped down from the role after a magnificent career.

As the Aussies headed to Sri Lanka ahead of the 2012 Australian summer there was a bit of pressure building over his form with the bat and the now 30-year-old who already had almost seven years of Test cricket under his belt was out to prove himself in his new role.

Clarke broke the drought in the second innings of the third test, scoring 112 in Columbo, his maiden ton as captain and first century since March 2010. This opened the flood gates as the batsmen affectionally nicknamed ‘Pup’ entered the best form of his career. In the following Test in South Africa, Clarke played a loan hand in the first innings, scoring 151 out a total of 284 as the Aussies were belted by 8 wickets.

Back on home soil, the skipper scored another century in the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba, but failed in the 2nd Test in Hobart and the Boxing Day Test against India.

 

 

The New Year’s Test in 2012 at his home ground, the SCG, would be the highlight of his career. Clarke joined his predecessor, Ricky Ponting, at the wicket with his side in a bit of trouble at 3/37 in reply to India’s first innings total of 191. The pair steadied the ship at the end of the opening day and Clarke was 47 not-out at stumps.

The partnership went passed 100 and then 150 early on day two as Clarke brought up his century just before lunch. He had reached 150 before India took the new ball ahead of the tea break, using it to remove Ponting for 134, ending a massive 288-run stand. Michael Hussey took over where Ponting left off, allowing Clarke to race from 150 to his first double century in just 51 balls. By stumps on the second day, the captain was unbeaten on 251, while Hussey had a half-century of his own with Australia in complete control of the match at 4/482.

The pair passed the 200 run mark early on the third day and Michael Hussey brought up his century before lunch while Clarke was in sight of a triple ton. The home supporters were on the edge of their seat at the resumption of play but it didn’t take long for Clarke to become the sixth Australian to score a Test triple century and the first at the SCG.

The boundary to bring up his milestone also took Australia’s total past 600 and a declaration was imminent. The skipper allowed Michael Hussey to get to 150 before opting to close the innings at 4/659, leaving him unbeaten on 329, just four runs shy of Don Bradman and Mark Taylor.

 

4. Don Bradman 334

Anyone who loves cricket would know the story of Sir Donald Bradman. Widely known as the greatest batsman of all-time, the Don finished his Test career with average of 99.94, almost 40 more than any other player in the history of the game. This is regarded as one of the greatest individual achievements of any player in a major sport.

Bradman made his Test debut at the Gabba in 1928 against England with the visitors making a healthy 521 in the first innings. Australia were already in major trouble at 5/71 when Bradman got a chance to bat at number seven. He was only able to make 18 & 1 in the match as the home side were belted by some 675 runs and the then 20-year-old was dropped for the second test at the SCG.

He was then recalled for the third Test at the MCG, scoring 79 in the first innings before making his maiden Test century in the second innings, at the time the youngest player to score a Test hundred.

After a narrow defeat at the SCG, the sides returned to Melbourne for the 5th Test where Bradman top scored with 123 in the first innings helping the Aussies to their only win of the series.

The form saw him selected for the tour of England in the following year and ‘boy from Bowral’ produced a series for the record books with the home side favourites to win the Ashes.

Bradman moved up the order to fourth in the 1st innings of the 1st Test at Trent Bridge, but despite scoring just 8 as Australia were bowled out for 144, he was promoted to number three in the second innings where he scored his first century on foreign soil.

He followed by notching up his first double century, scoring 254 in the first innings of the second Test at Lords, helping the Aussies to a massive 6d/729 in reply to England’s 425 and levelling the series 1-all.

It would be Leeds in the third Test where he would stun the cricketing world, scoring a century before lunch on the opening day, before reaching a double century in the second session. Bradman continued on in the final session to become the only player to ever reach a triple century in a single days play, a record that still stands today. He was also the first Australian to score 300 in a Test match, remaining unbeaten on 309 at stumps on day one. He went on to score 334, which at the time was the highest Test score by any batsman but would stand for almost 70 years as the highest by an Australian.

Despite drawing the match, another double century in the 5th Test at The Oval helped Australia romp to an innings victory and claim the Ashes 2-1. Bradman’s series was that like no other, scoring an incredible 974 runs (at an average of 139.14) across five Test matches, another record that has never been broken.

Amazingly, Bradman returned to Headingley, just four years later to score 304 in the 4th Ashes Test. He is currently the only Australian to record multiple Test triple centuries.

 

3. Mark Taylor 334 not-out

Opening batsman Mark Taylor burst onto the scene in 1989 in just his second Test series, making his Ashes debut in the 1st Test at Leeds. In what was his third match in the baggy green, Taylor scored his maiden Test century to help setup a massive first innings total for the visitors of 7d/601 as they went on to win by 210 runs.

His form continued throughout the series, notching up a number of half-centuries as the Aussies built an unassailable 3-nil lead to lock away the Ashes urn. The 5th Test at Trent Bridge saw Taylor bat for the entire first day with fellow opener Geoff Marsh as the pair chalked up 301 by stumps. Marsh was dismissed early on day two for 138, however Taylor went on to score his first double century. The 219 remained his highest score for some years and the series went down as one of the highest scoring in history as the opener amassed 839 runs at an average of 83.90.

Taylor went on to become a reliable opening batsman for Australia and assumed the captaincy upon the retirement of Allan Border in 1994. Under Taylor’s leadership, Australia became a power house of world cricket but as he crept toward the twilight of his Test career, he was yet add to his double century tally.

He led Australia to Pakistan ahead of the 1998/99 summer, a location where a Test victory had escaped the Aussies for some 39 years. He scored just 3 runs in the 1st Test at Rawalpindi as the visitors slumped to 3/28 in reply to Pakistan’s 269 but centuries to Michael Slater and and Steve Waugh helped Australia to post a commanding 513. The lead allowed them to bowl the hosts out for 145 runs to win by an innings and 99 runs, ending the drought.

The series headed to Peshawar and determined to win what would turn out to be his final Test series on foreign soil, ‘Tubby’ won the toss and elected to bat. The Aussies started a bit shaky, losing Michael Slater early while Taylor was dropped twice prior to lunch. Justin Langer joined his captain in hot conditions and the pair put on a huge partnership to steady the innings. Scoring on day one was slow going but Taylor managed to reach his century despite bad light ending play early on the opening day, finishing 112 not out.

The morning session on the second day was extended to compensate for lost time and the pair started to cash in on their lengthy stay at the crease. Langer brought up his century early in the day before being dismissed for 116, while Taylor powered on to reach just his second double century before lunch. He continued to battle away in the heat and by the tea break he’d passed 250 and opted to bat without a helmet in the sweltering conditions. As the final session commenced Taylor was on the verge of batting for two full days and was staring down the barrel of a Test triple century, something that had not been achieved by an Australian for over 30 years. Taylor recalls feeling nervous and struggling physically as he approached the milestone but felt a sense of achievement as he scored the first 300 of his career, something that he knew that was an opportunity that didn’t come around very often.

As the match headed into the last over of the day Taylor worked one off his hip but could only manage a single, drawing him level with Don Bradman’s 334, a score that had remained unmatched for some 68 years. The captain managed to get back on strike for the last two balls but hit the remaining deliveries to fielders, leaving him 334 not out at stumps. As a skipper that was always looking to get a result where possible in a game, Taylor chose to declare the innings overnight at 4/599. Unfortunately, Pakistan went on to almost match Australia’s first innings total and match was drawn but the Aussies went home with a 1-nil series victory.

 

2. David Warner 335 not-out

The most recent addition to the list is opening batsman David Warner. The 33-year-old returned to home soil following a nightmare Ashes series that saw him make just 95 runs from 10 innings at an average of just 9.50. The opener was unable to come to terms with the English conditions and fast bowler Stuart Broad had his number, dismissing him on seven occasions throughout the series.

The 2019 Ashes in England was Warner’s return to cricket after spending a year on the sidelines following the ‘sandpaper-gate’ controversy that rocked Australian cricket back in 2018. Warner’s longevity in the game allowed him to slot straight back into the Test side for the tour but many were critical of his form outside of Australia. His highest score for the series was 61, but the rest of his innings, bar one, were in single figures including a pair at Old Trafford.

 

 

After arriving home, Warner was selected for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield and immediately felt more comfortable in familiar conditions, notching up a century for his state in his first outing of the season. The proceeding T20 series against Sri Lanka allowed the fiery opener to bash his way back into form, bringing up a ton on the final ball of the innings in game one, setting up a huge total of 2/233. A further two half-centuries help Australia wrap up the series and 48 not-out in the third match against Pakistan saw the Aussies clean-sweep, enough to convince the selectors that Warner’s form would translate into the Test arena.

Warner repaid their faith in the opening Test match of the summer, putting on a massive stand with Joe Burns of 222 in reply to Pakistan’s 240. Warner was closing in on a century before tea on day two but had to wait until after the interval as a single left him 99 not-out. It didn’t take long after the break from Warner to pass a hundred and the relief was obvious as he brought up the milestone.

After losing his opening partner for 97, Warner powered on with Ashes prodigy Marnus Labuschagne and the pair took the total past 300 by the end of the days play. The opener was eventually dismissed for 154 early on day three, but the innings paved the way for something better.

Fresh off an innings win at the Gabba, the Aussies headed to Adelaide Oval for a pink ball day-night Test. This time Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first, but Warner lost his opening partner early for just 4 runs. As they had done in Brisbane, Warner and Labuschagne were the thorn in Pakistan’s side, putting together another massive partnership to take control of the game.

Despite rain delaying play on the opening day, Warner was able to bring up his century in the evening session before racing to 150 in quick time as the Aussies went to 1/302 at stumps. The pair continued where they had left off on day three and the opener powered from 150 to a double century in just 48 balls. It was just the second time he’d past the milestone in his career but he wasn’t done yet, surpassing his highest score before lunch. Labuschagne was eventually dismissed for 162, ending a monstrous 361 run partnership, the highest second wicket stand ever at the Adelaide Oval.

 

 

The 33-year-old continued to tick over the runs with ease, in stark contrast to his battles on English soil. With Matthew Wade by his side the pair pushed the run-rate and it wasn’t long before Warner became just the seventh Australia to score a Test triple century, bringing it up with trademark back-foot jab through deep long-on for four. Warner went on to pass Sir Donald Bradman and Mark Taylor’s reaching 335 not-out to notch up the second highest ever Test score by an Australian, before his skipper Tim Paine declared the innings.

 

Matthew Hayden 380

The highest ever Test score by an Australian was scored by Matthew Hayden. The Queenslander had a Test career that spanned 15 years and became one of the countries best opening batsman. Hayden made his Test debut in 1994 but after playing one Test in South Africa, he was unable to break into the Test again until the 1996/97 as Michael Slater and Mark Taylor dominated the opening positions for a number of years.

The left hander got his opportunity against the West Indies in the home Test series and scored his debut century in just his third match in the baggy green, racking up 125 at the Adelaide Oval. However, he was unable to consolidate and was dropped again seeing him spend another 3 years in domestic cricket before earning a recall.

A number of half-centuries against the West Indies in the summer of 2000/01 earned him a spot on the following tour of India, a series that would be a breakout period for the battling opener. The left hander scored a massive 549 runs in the three match series, a record for an Australian, with scores of 119, 97 and 203 at an average of 109.80. Hayden made use of the sweep shot to counter attack the Indian spinners that dominated in home conditions but his amazing feat wasn’t enough to help Australia take the series.

By mid 2003, Hayden had well and truly cemented his spot in the Australian Test team, forming a famous partnership with fellow opener Justin Langer. The pair become one of the most formidable opening pair, helping Australia dominate Test cricket for a number of years. Hayden had scored over 1,000 Test runs in 2001 and 2002 and was looking to do it again for a third consecutive calendar year.

Test minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe toured Australia ahead of the 2003/04 summer and while Hayden scored just 11 and 50 against Bangladesh, the home side won both tests by a innings. However, the first Test against Zimbabwe in Perth is where the opener would bring up the highlight of his career.

The big Queenslander started cautiously in the first session, scoring just 31 runs by the lunch break on day one. It took Hayden 107 balls to reach his half century, before bringing up his century off 210 balls. He then put his peddle to the floor, racking up the next 50 in just 32 deliveries to power past 150 and finished the day unbeaten on 183.

The masterclass started on the second day as the opener brought up his second double century before pounding the attack to go from 200 to 250 in just 29 balls and after lunch on day two was in reach of a first triple century. The barrage continued and Hayden passed the milestone with a whopping 33 fours and 8 sixes, before eclipsing Bradman and Taylor’s 334 to post the highest ever Test score by an Australian. Despite passing 350 and Australia total north of 700, Australian captain Steve Waugh allowed Hayden to continue and break the world record of 375 set by Brian Lara in 1994. The opener was eventually dismissed for 380, an extraordinary innings of epic proportions.

The following year England returned to Antigua where Lara had clattered his 375 almost 10 years earlier. The ‘Prince’ regained his record at the same ground, against the same opponent, scoring an unbeaten 400, becoming the first and only player to date to reach the milestone. Matthew Hayden’s incredible feat at Perth won’t ever be forgotten for those who witnessed it and while it is now the second highest individual Test score of all time, it reigns supreme amongst his fellow Australians.

 

Test Triple Centuries By Australians

Score Player Opponent Venue Date
380 Matthew Hayden Zimbabwe WACA 9th October 2003
335* David Warner Pakistan Adelaide Oval 30th November 2019
334* Mark Taylor Pakistan Peshawar 15th October 1998
334 Sir Donald Bradman England Headingley 11th July 1930
329* Michael Clarke India SCG 3th January 2012
311 Bob Simpson England Old Trafford 23th July 1964
307 Bob Cowper England MCG 11th February 1966
304 Sir Donald Bradman England Headingley 20th July 1934