Note: All data correct as of April 15, 2018. The Test involving the ICC XI in 2005 is excluded.
We first look at the best averages in first innings:
And those who scored the most centuries in the first innings (9 and above):
Ponting is just ahead of the overall leader in centuries as well as the second-placed.
Now let see who disliked the first innings. These players made the most centuries without ever making one in the first innings:
AD Mathews (8)
followed by Taufeeq Umar (7), WW Armstrong (6) and MG Burgess (5).
Mathews is still playing Tests so he may improve (?) on his record.
Conversely, there are those who love batting in the first innings. Apart from Ponting and his companions at the top of the table, there are those who scored all their centuries in the first innings:
JM Bairstow (5) He reached this mark in the last Test he played which was against New Zealand in 2018.
Next are AF Rae and Wasim Raja with 4.
Special mention to SP Fleming (8 out of 9 centuries in the first innings) and KC Wessels (5/6).
The second, third and fourth innings will follow.