As Ben Stokes approaches three figures, a closer look at England’s century club

Ben Stokes will become the 16th Englishman to win 100 Test caps when he captains his side in Thursday’s third Test against India.

Here, the PA news agency looks at England’s century club and Stokes’ record to date.

Century club

England's Ben Stokes, left, and James Anderson
James Anderson, left, is England’s most-capped player as Ben Stokes prepares for his 100th Test (Mike Egerton/PA)

James Anderson will hope to add to his national-record 184 Tests in Rajkot, while team-mate Joe Root ranks fourth on the list on 137 behind Stuart Broad (167) and Sir Alastair Cook (161).

Alec Stewart, Ian Bell, Graham Gooch, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Colin Cowdrey, Sir Geoff Boycott, Kevin Pietersen, Lord Ian Botham, Sir Andrew Strauss and Graham Thorpe are England’s other centurions. Barring injury, the remainder of the India series will lift Stokes alongside Botham on 102 Tests.

Cook is England’s record Test run-scorer with 12,472, with Root just over 1,000 behind as he keeps up his pursuit, while Anderson leads the wickets column on 695.

Of those among the group to have taken more than one Test wicket, only Stokes, Botham and Root have achieved the distinction of a higher average batting than bowling.

Ian Botham, centre, now Lord Botham, during an England Test against New Zealand in 1986
Stokes’ all-round Test record stand comparison to England great Lord Ian Botham, centre (PA)

Botham averaged 33.55 for his 5,200 runs and 28.40 for his 383 wickets – the latter figure places him third on England’s all-time wickets list behind Anderson and Broad (604).

Stokes, with over 1,000 runs more than Botham at an average nearly three runs higher at 36.34, has a strong claim as England’s greatest batting all-rounder – Root averages 49.65 with the bat but a hefty 43.88 with his off-spin.

Three more wickets, to add to his 197 at 32.07, will see Stokes join the illustrious club of 16 all-rounders to date with 3,000 runs and 200 wickets in Tests.

Broad, Botham, Andrew Flintoff and Moeen Ali have achieved that feat for England – Stokes has a better batting average than any of the quartet and will rank third in bowling average.

Setting the tone

Only 11 men have made a higher Test score for England than Stokes’ 258 against South Africa in 2016, with former captain Cook having done so on two occasions.

Coming in 198 balls at a strike rate of 130 with 30 fours and 11 sixes, it was the fastest score of 250-plus in Test history and England’s fastest double century – the next-highest England Test score recorded at over a run a ball is Zak Crawley’s 189 off 182 in last summer’s Ashes.

Stokes has 13 Test centuries in all, with four five-wicket hauls including a best of six for 22 against the West Indies in 2017.

As captain he has presided over 14 wins, six defeats and only one draw as he and coach Brendon McCullum have implemented a new aggressive style of play.

England have successfully chased five fourth-inning targets over 250 in that time, including a national-record 378 against India at Edgbaston in 2022 and three of their top eight chases of all time.

Somewhat surprisingly, that 258 is one of only two Stokes centuries at over a run a ball – he made 101 off 92 against New Zealand in 2015.

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