There are players who score several Test centuries. And some score only one. Here we look at the highest innings by players who scored exactly one century:
Led by KK Nair’s 303*, and followed by RE Foster’s 287 on debut and Z Crawley’s recent 267.
Apart from Foster, Mayers, Kuruppu and Conway have the highest lone centuries on debut.
From India, KK Nair is accompanied by ML Apte and NR Mongia.
You can also see that some of them (starting with KK Nair and D Lloyd) never made a score between 50 and 99.
What about those who made only one score above fifty?
This list is still headed by KK Nair, with the next being D Lloyd and B Kuruppu.. They all made full use of their opportunities once they crossed fifty.
Nair’s second highest score is only 26. For Lloyd it is 49 and for Kuruppu 46. Lloyd started off with 46 and 214* against India’s weak 1974 team, and thus temporarily had a Test average of 260.00 which dipped sharply during the Ashes tour later that year.
There are a few debutants here: Kuruppu, Bannerman, SC Griffith and Hartigan among others.
In recent years there have been Nair, Patterson and Yasir Shah.
From India, Nair is accompanied by A Ratra, RH Shodhan, Agarkar and Pataudi (Sr)
As we will see, Agarkar made only one score above fifty (and made it a century) and only one four-for (which was a 6-for).
Note that the above list includes relatively few lower-order batters. Most are recognized batsmen who got few opportunities. (Ganteaume’s single Test and a few others who played less than 5 Tests.)
Afterthought: KK Nair may well have the record for the highest ratio of highest and second-highest scores: 303/26 = 11.65
Apart from Nair, Sobers (365*) and RB Simpson (311) made their first century a triple. Unlike him, they scored many more centuries after that.