Centuries are key in test match cricket. This is because the odds of most of the batting order getting starts and scoring 60 to 70 runs each is very unlikely. Its more important for batsmen if they do get in to make hundreds. If you look at some of the scorecards of the great Australian teams of the last 15 years, you’ll see plenty of instances where 3 batsmen made under ten while 3 others have scored centuries. Or only 2 have made centuries, but they’ve both made over 125. Obviously this doesn’t apply as much in low scoring matches, but at Cardiff it could be the difference between Englands 435 and Australia’s 650.

Australia now have Hughes, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North and Haddin as century makers. This could be the key to the series. Lets take this analysis to the current Pakistan Sri Lanka series. Pakistan basically have Younis, Yousaf and possibly Misbah as genuine century makers. I would maybe add Akmal to that list, but not when he’s playing as a keeper. Sri Lanka have Sanga, Jayawardena, Samaraweera and Dilshan (again, if he’s not keeping). So its close, and Pakistan can come back, but as Sanga and Jaya are unlikely to fail again,  one of Misbah and Malik, or if we’re really lucky Butt or Manzoor need to step up and get 3 figures.