Brendon McCullum's 12 test centuries have come in a range of situations and conditions.

Trying to assess the merits of each against the others is a subjective business, but here are five which are strong contenders for McCullum's finest work...

1: 302, v India, Basin Reserve, 2014.

The big daddy of them all.


New Zealand, trailing by 246 on the first innings, were 52 for three and sinking fast in the second test, having won the first.

Enter McCullum. When he was finally out, New Zealand were 625 for seven, game well and truly saved, series won. It was a stupendous performance by McCullum, the first time a New Zealand batsman had made a test triple century. He batted 775 minutes, faced 559 balls, hit 32 fours and four sixes in defying a decent Indian attack for more than two days.

2: 145, v Australia, Hagley Oval, 2016

The fastest of all test centuries, 54 balls, as McCullum ends his test days on a note which will have special satisfaction for a man who has batted in overdrive for most of his career. At one point he got just three singles in the space 13 balls; he flew from 82 to 100 in four successive balls, with the crowd on their feet. He faced 79 balls altogether, hitting six into the crowd and 21 to the fence, and left the full house wanting more.

3: 195, v Sri Lanka, Hagley Oval, 2014

What a way to christen New Zealand's newest ground, and in McCullum's adopted home city. He came out at 88 for three in 23.4 overs; he was out at 367 for five in 65.5 overs. He scored his 195 out of 279 runs while at the crease, hit 18 fours and 11 sixes. It was perhaps the best exhibition of the essence of McCullum's batting. He was constantly on the move, the crease simply being a reference point as he stepped forward, across and back to decimate the Sri Lankan attack. To cap it off, he was caught, not fiddling an edge to the wicketkeeper, but by the fielder at long off. Five singles could have done the trick, but that's not the McCullum way.

4: 224, v India, Eden Park, 2014

A brilliant innings which helped set up a thrilling 40-run win in the final hour on the fifth day. Not for the first time, McCullum arrived with his team in trouble, 30 for three. He was last man out, having batted 462 minutes, faced 307 balls and hit 29 fours and five sixes. McCullum shared a 221-run stand for the fourth wicket with Kane Williamson, 133 with Corey Anderson for the fifth. This came one test before his triple century. As a back-to-back display you'll go far to find a better one.

5: 202, v Pakistan, Sharjah, 2014

A whirlwind of a different hue. This was the test no one wanted to play, in the immediate aftermath of the death of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes. The players were obliged to play and went out with a carefree attitude, recognising there are things far more important than playing sport. Responding to Pakistan's 351, McCullum led the way as New Zealand piled on 690. He hit his runs off just 188 balls, with 21 fours and 11 sixes, adding 297 with Kane Williamson for the second wicket to set up an innings and 80-run win. A remarkable innings in the circumstances.